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October 7, 2021
🌞 Hi all! Nick here filling in for Tristan while he’s getting some sun. At least that’s what I assume you do at a solar conference. 🤷‍♂️
The great Twitch hack (Fs in the chat)
Twitch TV logo 2021

An anonymous hacker released a massive treasure trove of info taken from Twitch, Amazon’s game streaming network. It includes everything from source code to payouts for the top streamers, and everything in between.

But before we get to the details, just a heads up that you should change your password if you have a Twitch account. The same goes for duplicate passwords. While you’re at it, enable 2FA (but not one that uses SMS).

And now the deets:

  • The 125GB torrent was posted to 4chan on Wednesday afternoon. It was quickly verified by Twitch itself later that day.
  • Unlike other leaks, this one contains data taken as recently as this Monday.
  • According to Video Games Chronicle, the file contains:
    • The entirety of Twitch’s source code with commit history “going back to its early beginnings.”
    • Creator payout reports from 2019.
    • Mobile, desktop, and console Twitch clients.
    • Proprietary SDKs and internal AWS services used by Twitch.
    • “Every other property that Twitch owns” including IGDB and CurseForge.
    • An unreleased Steam competitor, codenamed Vapor, from Amazon Game Studios.
    • Twitch internal ‘red teaming’ tools (designed to improve security by having staff pretend to be hackers).
  • Experts are still combing through the files for more details, but suffice it to say that this will probably go down as one of the largest data leaks of all time, with massive implications for the Amazon-owned company.

That said, one thing that was immediately understood is streamer payouts. Ever wondered how much the top streamers make? Well, here you go:

  • 81 streamers have been paid more than $1 million dollars by Amazon since 2019. Here are the top three, according to the leak:
    • Critical Role: $9.6 million
    • xQcOW: $8.4 million
    • summit1g: $5.8 million
  • Like the rest of the leak, these figures appear to be accurate. Three streamers on the list confirmed to the BBC that to the best of their knowledge they were correct.
  • These earnings are obviously impressive, but you have to keep in mind that they don’t include promotions or donations outside of Twitch.
  • In most cases, those will match or exceed the amounts listed in the leak.
  • But, of course, most streamers earn almost nothing. Sorry to shatter your dreams.

📱 Over in Korea, Samsung’s new foldables are selling better than the S21 and Note 20. Is this a sign of things to come for the US? (Android Authority).

📝 The polls are in: Users are torn about the Galaxy S22 Ultra as a Note replacement (Android Authority).

☠ Speaking of the Note lineup, the 2018 Galaxy Note 8 has officially reached the end of its lifecycle, with no future updates planned (Android Authority).

🖼 Looking for a new wallpaper? Check out these six beautiful options from Android Authority staff and readers (Android Authority).

📵 The company that routes SMS for all major US carriers was hacked for five years. It isn’t revealing whether or not messages were exposed, but it’s just another reason not to use SMS for 2FA (Ars Technica).

🕸 Americans are paying more for slower internet speeds compared to the rest of the world, according to a new report from the Open Technology Institute (CNBC).

🚀 Meanwhile, Russia tells its space reporters to stop reporting on the space program. Outlets that do are required to self-identify as a “Foreign Agent” (Ars Technica).

Samsung delayed its next-gen chip technology until 2022. The 3-nanometer tech was expected later this year, but the company also announced a 2-nanometer successor is coming in 2025 (cnet).

💻 In case you haven’t already done it, here’s a step-by-step guide for how to install Windows 11. Whether or not you should is another matter (Android Authority).

🧠 “What useful unknown website do you wish more people knew about?” (r/askreddit).

Throwback Thursday

In case you haven’t been reminded how old you are lately, this week marked 10 years since the passing of Steve Jobs. Although he remains a controversial figure, he truly did accomplish some incredible things throughout his career:

  • Everyone knows about his days at Apple, but less attention is given to his work with Pixar. While between stints at Apple, he purchased the Graphics Group division of Lucasfilm (which would later become Pixar) for $5 million (plus $5m in investment) in 1986.
  • He became Pixar’s President and CEO in 1995, the same year the company released a little film called Toy Story. It would go on to earn $192 million at the box office, ushering in an era of celebrity voice actors in animated films.
  • In 2006, Disney purchased Pixar for $7.4 billion in stock, with Jobs joining Disney’s board of directors. The sale made Jobs the largest shareholder, owning more than 7% of Disney.
  • He remained on Disney’s board until his death and was named a Disney Legend in 2013. His impact on film and animation is overshadowed by his work at Apple, but it’s still an important part of his legacy.

Tristan will be back with more tech news on Monday.

Signing out,

Nick Fernandez, Editor.

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