Recent Twitch leak reveals hacker-led money laundering scheme

Small-time streamers have been refunding a portion of donations into random bank accounts to the tune of $9.8 million over two years.


Every cloud has a silver lining and it would appear that the security breach at Twitch has resulted in some good. Recent reports indicate that hackers have been using Twitch’s Bit system as a means of laundering money through low-profile Twitch streamers, laundering an approximate $9.8 million. This was discovered due to some investigative work into the data that was leaked in October.

twitch money laundering scheme with Turkish streamers
The recent leak has shed light on a money laundering scheme between hackers and small-time Turkish streamers.

Reported on by Haberler and picked up by Kotaku, the recent Twitch leak that revealed the earnings of streamers has resulted in the discovery of a money laundering scheme. According to Middle East Eye, Turkish livestreamers noted that streamers with small followings were “earning thousands of dollars”, a significantly larger amount than would be expected for content creators with only a dozen or so followers.

How the scam worked is that the hackers would obtain credit card information and then reach out to small time streamers with a proposition. The deal would involve the streamers refunding 80% of the donations to different bank accounts provided by the hackers. By using this method, more than $9.8 million was laundered through 2,400 Turkish streamers over a two year period.

A Turkish streamer called Grimnax revealed on Twitter a conversation between himself and a scammer that took place on Discord. The conversation involved the scammer attempting to set up a similar system mentioned above. Grimnax told Middle East Eye that this sort of scam has been known among the community for a while, but they were unable to get the attention of Twitch or Amazon.

Ahmet Sonuc, a streamer with 1.7 million followers on Twitch, has informed Gursel Tekin, an Istanbul deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party, of the laundering. Tekin has now requested that the Financial Crimes Investigation Board investigate the problem.

What started out as a security breach, leading to users needing to reset their passwords and Stream Keys, has evolved into what could become a major investigation into how hackers and criminals utilize Twitch. Keep it locked to Shacknews as we continue to cover this story.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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