Twitch-Targeting Botnets Use Infected PCs to Inflate Viewer Audiences
With video streaming site Twitch paying lucrative wages to celebrity gamers, it was inevitable—botnet-for-hire services that use hacked computers to fraudulently inflate viewership.
According to a report published Friday by security firm Symantec, underground markets and, in some cases, sites on the open Web host several services promising to generate large viewing audiences on Twitch and other streaming sites. One such service claims that each infected computer can be commandeered to open five separate streams carried on a selected broadcaster’s Twitch channels. (To keep owners of the compromised computers in the dark, the streams are hidden and muted.) Premium services also offer automated “chatters” that interject users’ comments live during the streaming.