Twitch spamming suspect charged in Canada

A Canadian man has been accused of spamming streaming site Twitch with racist and homophobic messages.

In court papers, Brandan Lukus Apple was alleged to be the spammer behind attacks on Twitch early last year.

During each attack, more than 1,000 broadcasts were disrupted by the massive number of messages being sent.

Mr Apple has been charged with “mischief in relation to computer data”.

No defence against the charges has been filed by Mr Apple, reported Canadian news channel CBC.

The case is due to go to court in February.

According to the court documents, Mr Apple runs a service that lets people send lots of junk messages or spam as email messages or as comments to other messaging systems.

The criminal charge of mischief emerged from work Twitch did to find out who was behind the 2017 spamming surge. About 1,000 Twitch streamers were hit in the attack which disrupted broadcasts.

At its peak, said Twitch in its court filings, chat channels were getting hit by up to 600 messages per minute.

As well as containing racial and sexual slurs, the messages linked to disturbing images, solicited obscene material and accused streamers of using software bots to exaggerate their popularity.

According to Twitch, its investigation revealed that the junk messages had been sent by a service called ChatSurge that is allegedly owned and operated by Mr Apple.

This investigation led Twitch to start a civil action against Mr Apple. It ended with the Canadian supreme court issuing an order that restrained Mr Apple from making or distributing software or services that could be used to harm Twitch.