Leak of data from streaming platform Twitch attracted the attention of Roskomnadzor

Roskomnadzor sent a request to the American office of the Internet service Twitch with a request to provide detailed information about the leak that occurred on October 6, a representative of the department told Vedomosti. Roskomnadzor, in particular, demanded to provide data on the compromised volume of personal information of Russian Twitch users. “The situation when personal data of users is freely available is unacceptable. To date, Roskomnadzor has not received any complaints from Russian citizens regarding the leakage of personal data of users of this Internet service, ”the source said.

The organizers of the streaming service must give a response to the department within 30 days of receiving the request. Responsibility for failure to submit or untimely provision of the requested information occurs in accordance with Art. 19.7 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation, indicated in Roskomnadzor.

The department also said that citizens who have suffered from the compromise of personal data have the right to demand proportionate compensation from the perpetrator both in pre-trial and in court. “If a citizen believes that his rights as a subject of personal data have been violated, he can apply to Roskomnadzor, as an authorized body for the protection of the rights of subjects of personal data. The department examines all appeals and, within the limits of authority, takes the necessary actions to restore the rights of a citizen up to going to court, ”said a representative of Roskomnadzor.

Vedomosti sent a request to Twitch, but at the time of publication, no response was received.

What Twitch data hit the Internet

Twitch.tv source code, including changelog;
report on payments to content creators since 2019;
information about user identification and authentication mechanisms;
information about the services that Twitch employees use to check the platform’s security level;
Twitсh software for mobile and desktop PCs, game consoles;
proprietary development kit and internal automation systems used by Twitch;
Information about the Amazon Game Studios-developed, yet-to-be-released Vapor platform, a competitor to the Steam game store.
data on Twitch’s CurseForge and Indie Game Database projects

Twitch, an Amazon-owned live streaming platform, was exposed to a major data breach on October 6. On that day, confidential information on Twitch was published by an anonymous user of the site 4chan, popular with hackers. He warned that this is only the first part of the available files.

Twitch has officially confirmed the leak. The next day, the company disclosed some details of the incident on its blog: “We found out that due to an error in changing the configuration of the Twitch server, which was then deliberately used by a third party, some data became available on the Internet.” As of October 7, Twitch reported that the company had “not clarified all the circumstances” of the leak, so it cannot yet “accurately determine the scale of the problem.” At the same time, Twitch said that at the moment there is no indication that the account data has been compromised. “Full bank card numbers are not stored on Twitch, so this data was not leaked,” a company spokesman said in a blog post. The company also reset the broadcast keys, which may have required some users to manually update the software, according to a Twitch post.

Amazon acquired the site, originally called Justin.tv, for $ 970 million in 2014. It was one of the group’s largest deals at the time and a major step into the gaming industry. “For that [Джефф] Bezos [основатель Amazon] paid $ 970 million, and we give it to you for free, ”wrote an anonymous user 4chan. Vedomosti sent a request to Amazon.

“Reading the leaked information, which contains the complete source code, including unreleased software, development kits, financial statements and internal hack risk testing services, will leave every seasoned cybersecurity professional in shudder. It’s as bad as it gets, “commented Archie Agarwal, founder and CEO of ThreatModeler (quoted from securitymagazine.com).

Pure charity

Like rival YouTube, Twitch’s most profitable users receive more than $ 1 million annually in revenue from advertisers and subscribers and in the form of one-time tips from fans, writes the Financial Times.

“In 2021, Twitch in Russia is already competing with YouTube in terms of both the number of users and their activity. The number of authorized Russian-speaking viewers of the platform in the first half of the year exceeded 9 million, ”Ekaterina Bibik, head of the Russian division of Admitad Affiliate, told Vedomosti.

According to her, the number of Russian-speaking channels on Twitch is now at the level of 130,000-140,000. “It is interesting that only a little more than 40,000 of them are official partners of Twitch, which means they can earn on paid subscriptions, videos of the advertising network, and other possibilities from the platform itself, – says Bibik. – But the income for streamers is, of course, not only the partnership with the platform itself. Authors also profit from subscriber donations, direct advertising contracts associated with their resource channels on YouTube and other social networks, and from partnerships with partner networks.

According to Admitad Affiliate, a streamer can easily earn from 25,000 to 250,000 rubles on his channel. per month, and top authors with thousands of ethers earn millions.

“In addition to online games, streamers earn the most from advertising brands for electronics, computer components and food delivery,” Bibik said.

Some streamers, whose accounts were mentioned in the leak, have confirmed that their dollar earnings indicated in the materials coincide with their real earnings, writes the Financial Times.

According to the published data on the income of 10,000 Twitch streamers, the CriticalRole streamer received the maximum revenue – $ 9.6 million in the period from 2019 to 2021. Among Russian-speaking streamers, Sergey Belyakov (HellYeahPlay) became the most profitable – in three years he earned $ 278,300 on the platform and takes 605th place in the overall “ranking” of income, the next – streamer Alexander Ivanushkin (KarmikKoala) with an earnings of $ 262,600, wrote Forbes.

“For me personally, nothing has changed at all, because this information was always open to me and any person with a calculator could calculate. And the fact that the media is again inflating this question, asking for comments from experts on experts who generally do not understand what they are writing about, what streaming is, what the streamer’s income consists of (in fact, these are ordinary donations from streamer viewers) , makes me only negative, – Ivanushkin told Vedomosti. – Address [в Роскомнадзор] I’m not going to, since I have already said that all this information was in the public domain and I am absolutely not an injured party. The victim is Twitch, which has to deal with a major leak. ” Ivanushkin did not answer whether the published earnings of KarmikKoala match the actual earnings from Twitch.

Ukrainian streamer Rostislav Panteleev (52,000 subscribers on Twitch), in correspondence with Vedomosti, expressed doubt that the tax service would be interested in the published data on streamer income. “The tax authorities will not come and ask questions, because this income is pure charity, if we talk about donations. And I personally have no advertising income. There are only donations from viewers in the form of a paid subscription and donation. A streamer is like a musician at the subway with a guitar. He plays, and passers-by pay for the show. In the era of advanced technologies, many do it on a computer, ”Panteleev said.

Penalty or blocking

If Twitch does not respond to Roskomnadzor within the prescribed time limit, the most likely sanction is a fine of up to RUB 5,000. under article 19.7 of the Administrative Code, says Vadim Perevalov, a teacher at the Moscow Digital School: “The fines for this article were previously imposed on Twitter and Facebook.” The law on personal data gives Roskomnadzor the right to go to court with a demand to recognize the fact of violation of Russian legislation on personal data and, on the basis of such a court decision, block access to the corresponding online resource, Perevalov reminds.

Roskomnadzor has the right to request data on the number of users of an Internet resource in order to assess whether it falls under the regulation of the federal law “On Information, Information Technologies and Protection of Information,” says Boris Edidin, deputy chairman of the commission on legal support of the digital economy of the Moscow branch of the Russian Lawyers Association: ” Failure to provide data does not cancel the regulator’s right to independently assess the audience of the resource. At the same time, for failure to provide information or refusal to provide information, theoretically, the owner of the resource can be held liable under Art. 19.7 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation, the fine for this offense is 5,000 rubles. for legal entities”.

Companies react differently to the requirements of Russian regulators, Edidin continues. “In some cases, they provide the requested information, if it does not contradict their internal policy. In the case of imposition of fines, one can note the practice of Google, which paid the fine imposed at the request of the FAS Russia, says the lawyer. – There are also cases of ignoring requirements and refusal to pay fines. The chances of collecting fines from companies that do not have physical representations here are not very high yet ”.

At the same time, the law “on landing” (obliging foreign Internet companies to open authorized representative offices in Russia – “Vedomosti”) contains a fairly extensive toolbox of measures to influence violators, Edidin recalls. These measures can be used by Roskomnadzor for the purpose of the so-called landing, he believes.

“This is a good PR”

For Twitch itself, such a data leak is unlikely to cause any significant reputational damage, believes Alexey Andreev, managing partner of Depot. “First of all, because no defamatory or controversial information about this platform as a business has been compromised. There is no data on conditional harassment among the company’s employees, any abuses, harassment of minorities, cases of sexism, gender inequality, etc. – they are now riveted attention in Russia and abroad. There was also no information about any tax crimes, bribes, violations of economic legislation, etc., Andreev argues. – On the contrary: the leak helped in promoting the Twitch brand – as you know, only some large platforms are hacked in this way, which puts Twitch on a par with the largest brands in its segment. In addition, they started talking about the service in the media, blogs, everyone is discussing what happened, this is a good PR ”.

The only partly injured party in this case is the streamers themselves, whose income data were made public, Andreev believes: “If a streamer communicates with his audience on an equal footing, positioning himself as a simple user, his audience will have to accept the fact that their favorite, it turns out that millions in earnings from communicating with them. “

Hype Agency CEO Grigory Zorin, on the other hand, believes that the situation will favorably affect the development of streaming. “This will have an absolutely positive effect on streamers, because the scale of the industry is quite significant, and the market does not really know about their income, and young people also do not know how they earn. And the disclosure of this information will surely attract new streamers to the platforms and will serve as a kind of impetus for the flourishing of this culture, ”Zorin said.

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