New hacks reveal technological secrets in the spread of guerrilla warfare.

One hack after another has revealed some of the internet’s most closely guarded secrets, escalating a turf war between large tech companies and anonymous hackers and raising concerns that the general public will be caught in the crossfire.

This week, it was revealed that hackers had stolen a massive cache of data from Twitch, Amazon’s video game streaming site, revealing not only million-dollar payouts for the site’s most popular streamers, but also the site’s entire source code — the DNA, written over a decade and critical to the company’s survival.

These events occurred in response to an attack by the hacktivist collective Anonymous, which made public the most sensitive internal workings of Epik, a right-wing Internet services provider, and resulted in the firings and other consequences for some of the company’s previously unknown clients.

Because of the Epik hack, it was also possible to gain access to the Texas GOP, one of America’s largest state party affiliates, and the Oath Keepers, a far-right militia group that took part in the Capitol Hill assault on January 6. A California sheriff was under fire after the hack revealed that he was a member of the group in 2014, and he faced calls to resign this week.

The hackers who claim responsibility for these attacks distinguish themselves from other cybercriminals and ransomware gangs who are solely motivated by financial gain. The Epik hackers complained in their data dump that the company served hateful websites, whereas the Twitch hackers used a hashtag to criticise the company’s harassment policies and called the site a “disgusting cesspool.”

“Jeff Bezos paid $970 million for this,” the hackers wrote, referring to Amazon’s 2014 acquisition of the company. “Anyone who wants it can have it for free.” (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

It’s impossible to know what the hackers are up to as long as they remain anonymous. The personal information of tens of thousands of customers, including sensitive data such as income, phone numbers, and addresses, has been compromised as a result of the theft and public release of stolen data.

Twitch acknowledged the breach in a statement released on Tuesday, stating that its teams were “working with urgency to determine the scope of this.” In a statement, company officials said that a “malicious third party” gained access through a misconfigured server and that they were still “understanding the impact in detail.

Despite the company’s claim that no log-in information was compromised, experts believe that the theft of internal security information may have made the site more vulnerable to future attacks. Twitch claims a monthly audience of more than 7 million people and a daily audience of 30 million. The FBI said in a statement released Thursday that it was “aware of the incident” but had no further information.


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