Twitch got e-vandalized overnight with photos of Jeff Bezos amid fallout from data breach
If you were using the web version of Twitch early Friday morning, you might’ve gotten the chance to see it get redecorated with a picture of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ face.
For several hours, an extreme close-up of Bezos’ eyes became the new background image for many if not all of the video game-related category pages on Twitch, a livestreaming-focused subsidiary of Amazon. The change has since been reverted. Twitch has yet to offer any comment on the subject, and at time of writing, no one has stepped forward to claim responsibility for changing the image.
More Twitch shenanigans are afoot. All game directory header pictures on the Web version of Twitch are now showing a closeup picture of Jeff Bezos. It's been like this for the last 2 hours. pic.twitter.com/LcKP9jGMCC
— AnEternalEnigma (@AnEternalEnigma) October 8, 2021
The image, which appears to be taken from an old viral photo of Bezos that roughly resembles the original “PogChamp” emote on Twitch, comes two days after Twitch publicly acknowledged what it’s officially calling a “security incident,” where an unknown quantity of Twitch’s internal data was leaked online.
According to Twitch’s official blog, the leak was made possible by “an error in a Twitch server configuration change that was subsequently accessed by a malicious third party.”
Twitch does not currently believe that users’ login credentials were exposed in the leak, and it reportedly never stored full credit card numbers on-site. However, it did take the step early Thursday morning of resetting all its users’ stream keys, which is a unique password available via the official Twitch dashboard that’s required before a streamer can start broadcasting.
Out of an abundance of caution, we have reset all stream keys. You can get your new stream key here: https://t.co/Lby1wfS0Ss. For more information, please visit the Twitch blog: https://t.co/JDXlpO0pY4
— Twitch (@Twitch) October 7, 2021
The initial leak was originally posted on the 4chan message board as a 125GB torrent that was claimed to be data taken straight from Twitch, including information on future projects, payment structures for top Twitch broadcasters, and even the site’s source code. The poster’s motivation was reportedly to “foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space.”
Twitch has not offered a statement on how much of the data is legitimate, aside from confirming that there actually was a security breach.
The “PogBezos” (“JeffChamp?”) e-vandalism has yet to be conclusively connected to the 4chan leak, but it’d be a strange coincidence if it wasn’t. Most of the social media conversation on Wednesday was focused around picking apart just how much Twitch is paying its top broadcasting talent, but if Twitch’s source code did leak, the entire site’s security is potentially at risk.
Twitch was started in 2011 as a gaming-focused spin-off from the seminal streaming website Justin.tv. It was subsequently acquired by Amazon in 2014 for $970 million, and over the last few years, has become the single largest platform for online broadcasting.
While the livestreaming field is bigger than a lot of people realize, with several dozen platforms operating in the space, Twitch commands roughly six times the audience share of every other platform combined. That commanding lead has led to a lot of unwelcome attention for Twitch, however, including new legislation, multiple DMCA strikes from the American music industry, and now the occasional would-be hacktivist.