Between the Xbox and Sony press conferences at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany this week, excitement among gamers is running high. Of course, excitement translates easily enough into destructive potential, so it's perhaps not surprising that hackers compromised the Xbox and PlayStation Twitch channels (Twitch is a service that lets gamers livestream their play sessions and developers livestream their press conferences) and filled them with malicious slurs.
A number of users noticed the oddities when they visited the Twitch streams to check out pre-recorded videos. (Hijacking a livestream is incredibly difficult, and so far, both the Xbox and PlayStation ones remain unmolested.) Ben Hanson, a video producer for Game Informer, took a screenshot of the PlayStation page, which was filled with nonsensical profanity; the pages for Xbox and the eSports League (ESL) looked similar.
Most of the hacks were just video names and descriptions replaced with random curse words, but a few choicer bits, such as "XBOX IS FOR F***OTS" reveal that the attacker probably wanted to stir up some console war resentment, too. It's not yet clear who was behind the infraction.
For now, Microsoft, Sony and ESL have all removed their pre-recorded highlight videos until they figure out how the issue happened and can prevent it from happening again. All three livestreams are still working just fine, but you'll probably have to wait a few days before getting access to Twitch's full Gamescom coverage for each company.
Individual users have nothing to worry about, even if they watched the hacked streams, as the attack did not target any user information. However, the attacks do suggest that Twitch is at least somewhat vulnerable to malefactors, which could have unfortunate implications for one of the world's most popular game broadcast streaming services.
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