The official PlayStation, Xbox and Electronic Sports League Twitch accounts have been compromised, with the guilty parties erasing archived streams and leaving offensive messages in their wake.
The hackers changed archived video titles and descriptions to show various obscenities and slurs, made references to the Rise of the Tomb Raider Xbox One exclusivity deal, and show “announcements” of anticipated games like Fallout 4.
You can see an example of what the hackers did to the ESL channel here – language and content warning, obviously.
In addition to this reversible vandalism, the hackers reportedly erased swathes of videos. It’s not clear whether these will be recoverable, and for now, Twitch has disabled these sections of the affected channels until account holders can be informed and take action.
“We’re deleting the offensive VODs as soon as we find them and are alerting individual teams at the venue,” Twitch told Polygon.
“As a precautionary measure, we temporarily removed highlights and past broadcasts for those channels since it’s in the early hours of the morning in Cologne.”
Although it’s not clear how the accounts were compromised, it’s usually human error rather than super elite hacking, so let’s chat about online security for a minute. Make sure your passwords are strong; never share passwords with your broadcast partners via unsecured means; use unique passwords; and change your passwords often.
This is probably terribly embarrassing for the affected channels. Twitch is such an important part of gamer culture now – especially for the ESL, as eSports relies heavily on streaming – that this is about on the level with having websites hacked. All three are likely to have pointed questions for Twitch if there turns out to be a hole in the streaming company’s security.