October 7, 2021 (07:30) Twitch has confirmed that the data breach is real and was caused by “error in a Twitch server configuration change”. It also says users’ personal info was not exposed in the leak.
A massive leak involving streaming platform Twitch has been uploaded to 4chan, reportedly containing the website’s source code, references to a yet to be released rival platform to Steam from Amazon, and earnings data for Twitch’s biggest streamers.
As first reported by VGC, the anonymous hacker obtained 125GB of information and leaked it in order to “foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space”. The clearly disgruntled leaker also describes Twitch’s community as “a disgusting toxic cesspool”. While the validity of the leak was initially in question, Twitch has since confirmed a “breach has taken place.”
Among the information is the entire source code for Twitch, as well as details on an unreleased platform codenamed Vapor. This is reportedly Amazon’s attempt at building a rival platform to Valve’s Steam as somewhere to house Amazon Game Studios titles, such as the recently released New World.
However, arguably the most interesting data to come out of this leak revolves around how much Twitch’s top streamers are earning from the platform. The data spans back as far as August 2019, and some of the figures are eye-watering.
Twitter user ‘KnowSomething’ has compiled a number of lists with this information, showing how much top streamers earned last month and even the total amount they’ve made since the start of the data range in August 2019. This data appears to be pre-tax, and potentially pre-Twitch’s cut of the earnings. It also only shows Twitch’s payouts to streamers through things like ad revenue and subscriptions, and doesn’t include any external or third-party revenue streams like sponsorship deals and donations.
The gross payouts of the top 100 highest-paid Twitch streamers from August 2019 until October 2021: pic.twitter.com/3Lj9pb2aBl
— KnowSomething (@KnowS0mething) October 6, 2021
The data shows that last month’s most watched streamer, Felix ‘xQc’ Lengyel, earned over $750,000 from Twitch in September alone.
The data showing total earnings between August 2019 and October 2021, a period of just over two years, shows Dungeons and Dragons role-playing channel Critical Role as the highest earner with a staggering $9.6 million. xQc follows in second with $8.4 million, while Jaryd ‘Summit1g’ Lazar is in third with $5.8 million.
In eleventh spot, there is also an entry for ‘_unknown_’, who has earned around $2.8 million. It’s widely speculated that this is the permanently banned Guy ‘DrDisrespect’ Beahm, although this is yet to be confirmed.
With so much information being leaked, it’s being advised that Twitch streamers and users change their passwords and enable two-factor authentication if they haven’t done so already. If you’re reading this and want to heed that advice, check out our guide to resetting your Twitch password and setting up 2FA.
The hacker who has obtained this information says they plan to release more leaked information about Twitch at a later date on 4Chan.
In its first statement since the leak, Twitch says it is “working with urgency to understand the extent” of the breach. A longer statement issued around 24 hours after initial reports gives more detail around how the data breach happened, and claims that Twitch users’ personal information was not exposed by the leak.