Here’s Why Twitch’s Giant Internal Leak Is Inundated With The Word ‘Pizza’

Here’s Why Twitch’s Giant Internal Leak Is Inundated With The Word ‘Pizza’

Last week Twitch suffered a massive hack. Roughly 125GB of data was leaked online, including source code and top streamer earnings, as well as a bunch of files with bizarre references to pizza. Why? Twitch suffered another major hack back in 2014 and code-named the response to it “Urgent Pizza.”

That’s according to a new report by Vice’s Motherboard, which digs into the details of the Amazon-owned streaming company’s first security breach. It was so bad at the time that former employees told the site they had to spend months basically rebuilding the entirety of Twitch. One said they worked 20 hours a day for two months. Another didn’t stop working for “three weeks straight.” Some even rented hotels near Twitch’s office to cut down on commute times.

And the entire time they were eating a ton of pizza:

“The event was called ‘urgent pizza’ because management had everyone do ridiculous amounts of overtime and ordered pizzas as incentive lol,” a former Twitch employee told 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.”

According to one source Twitch even mandated that all future hack incidents receive a food-inspired codename. Perhaps toward that end, files from this week’s hack include code for a random food-name generator. The files also contain numerous cryptic references to pizza, and not just because the engineers were hungry. Motherboard reports code strings that include “remove pizza script,” “a pizza thing,” “indicate that the server is ‘urgent-pizza clean,’” “move pizza to securelogin,” and “dirty_status = True.”

That last bit is a reference to old Twitch servers that were compromised back in 2014. As part of operation “Urgent Pizza,” Motherboard reports that the streaming platform kept several servers in operation but locked down, labelling them “dirty” as a warning to anyone working on them.

We don’t yet know what food-based name Twitch is giving this latest hack, or if it will be commemorating the occasion with a new round of t-shirts. “Our teams are working with urgency to investigate the incident,” the company wrote in a blog post last week.


  • “dirty_status = True” isn’t particularly unique or special to this. “Dirty” is often used in software development to describe things that are in a state other than the base or “clean” state. It’s frequently used with respect to flagging when unsaved changes have occurred in a document.

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