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As news breaks of a Twitch hack that has exposed 125GB of users’ personal data, a recent study by UK phone refurbishers Repair Outlet reveals the hidden cost of streaming app cybercrime.

Combining data from Action Fraud with global search data around app cybercrime, the study has revealed that app users lose an estimated £183 per break-in, with streaming site users potentially losing £3.3M a month.

Typically, Twitch users search for advice on account security 600 times a month, which could be costing £109,800 per month.

Though the data revealed in the mass leak may not have an immediate monetary impact, the personal data exposed could leave other accounts at risk and, for streamers on the site, could have a drastic effect on the money they can generate.

More broadly, Youtube is the most commonly searched streaming app, with 6,000 searches per month, costing an estimated £1M.

Netflix is the second-most vulnerable app, with 3,900 searches surrounding account break-ins, totaling £713,700 a month.

The most vulnerable streaming apps

App

Category

Global Monthly Search Volume

Estimated Cost

Cost in USD

Youtube

Streaming

6000

£1,098,000

$1,506,000

Netflix

Streaming

3900

£713,700

$978,900

Spotify

Streaming

3800

£695,400

$953,800

Disney+

Streaming

3600

£658,800

$903,600

Twitch

Streaming

600

£109,800

$150,600

App users search for cybercrime advice 92,120 times a month, meaning the global total could be as high as £16,857,960.

You can find the full data, along with online safety advice, in our original post here: https://repairoutlet.co.uk/blogs/news/the-state-of-app-security-report

Comment from Tom Peet, manager of Repair Outlet:

“Streaming service vulnerabilities may not always have an immediate monetary value but this can result in cybercriminals gaining access to your personal information which leads to further fraud online.

One of the most common mobile issues is operating system vulnerabilities which can occur when your device isn’t regularly updated. This is even more significant as your device ages as some models may stop receiving updates.

Smishing has also increased by as much as 700% in 2021, highlighting the serious risk to all app users of losing access to their accounts and losing money in the process.

It’s vital to keep on top of your online safety, practice good password hygiene and protect your device with antivirus software.”

Comment from Ian Reynolds, cybersecurity expert at SecureTeam:

“It’s hacks like this that reinforce the importance of the very basic levels of cybersecurity that we are still seeing large companies such as Twitch not take seriously enough.

The foundation of cybersecurity password protection is two-factor authentication. For example, you’ll notice this being enforced if you ever try to log into your Google account on a new device.

If Twitch had multi-step authentication as a defalt, the risk of vulnerable accounts would be much smaller, which in turn would give users more confidence when interacting with the app.

These are very basic cybersecurity pracitises that companies should already be enforcing to prevent attacks happening, not as reactive measures after a disaster has already struck.”

Methodology

The UK’s fraud prevention agency Action Fraud reported that the cost of social media and email cybercrime was £2.6M a year, or £183 per hack. Repair Outlet then calculated the cost per hack based on the number of people searching for app-specific terms globally to calculate the estimated total monthly cost.