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Twitch data leak reveals remnants of previous “Urgent Pizza” hacking incident

The platform suffered a major hack in 2014.

Twitch recently suffered a major hack where its source code was leaked online. But it's not the first time the streaming platform has been hacked.

As reported by Waypoint, data in the leaked source code contains references - strangely enough - to pizza.

These relate to traces of a 2014 hack that caused Twitch to rebuild much of its code infrastructure.

According to the Waypoint report, back in 2014 suspicious logs were discovered in the code, clearly left behind by hackers. The intrusion caused an intense investigation, with almost all staff pulled in to assist as Twitch had few, if any, dedicated cybersecurity experts. One former employee claimed to have worked for 20 hours a day for two months.

The incident became known as "Urgent Pizza", with Twitch leadership even printing t-shirts with the name on. But why?

"The event was called 'Urgent Pizza' because management had everyone do ridiculous amounts of overtime and ordered pizzas as incentive lol," said a former Twitch employee to Motherboard. "People who participated got t-shirts and 'joke' about having PTSD from the long hours and lack of understanding of the scope of the hack which necessitated the company-wide rebuild."

Twitch was forced to rebuild its code as its servers were compromised; these were later labelled "dirty" as data was gradually migrated to new servers.

The code from the recent leak contains references to the "Urgent Pizza" event, with code strings such as "remove pizza script," "a pizza thing," "indicate that the server is 'urgent-pizza clean,'" "move pizza to securelogin," and "dirty_status = True."

Perhaps more pizza has been consumed following this recent incident.

"We have learned that some data was exposed to the internet due to an error in a Twitch server configuration change that was subsequently accessed by a malicious third party. Our teams are working with urgency to investigate the incident," reads the Twitch blog post following the leak.

Twitch is yet to follow up with a further statement.

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About the Author

Ed Nightingale avatar

Ed Nightingale

News reporter

Ed is Reporter at Eurogamer, with an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.


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