You don’t want to make hackers angry — and Twitch just learned that the hard way

Twitch experienced a data breach that exposed a wide range of sensitive data, and there could be more to come.


October 8, 2021

Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

There are many reasons hackers hack, including:

  • Financial gain
  • Career advancement
  • The challenge of it

Much less common is hacking a platform out of spite — but that seems to be exactly what happened to Twitch, which suffered a massive data breach this week, per The Wall Street Journal.

The alleged hacker called out Twitch’s toxic culture…

… referring to the community as a “toxic cesspool” and wanting to “foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space.”

Twitch has struggled to fight “hate raids,” which is when a user programs bots to flood a streamer’s chat room with hateful messages.

The problem got so bad that some streamers boycotted the platform in September. While Twitch did end up suing 2 users they believe orchestrated hate raids, the buck doesn’t stop there.

Last year, Twitch employees accused the company of a tone-deaf, white-male dominated culture that fosters such toxicity.

This wasn’t your average leak

The alleged hacker announced the news on 4chan, an anonymous message board, and linked to a 125GB file containing a range of sensitive data, including:

  • Platform source code
  • Internal documents that include future product plans
  • Payout data for streamers on the platform

According to an anonymous Twitch engineer, the hack could make hate raids worse. The leaked data included the code for AutoMod — the company’s automated moderation tool that acts as a first line of defense against offensive messages in streamers’ chat rooms.

Notably, the 4chan poster referenced the hack as “Part One” — indicating there could be more to come.

PSA: At this time, Twitch doesn’t believe user credentials were exposed, but we’d recommend changing your password and enabling MFA just to be safe.

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