A warning for ‘Steam’ account holders


For the uninitiated; Steam is a games distribution platform, developed by Valve Corporation, which is very popular among the gaming fraternity. News recently hit the headlines that Steam Forums, the associated discussion board, had been hacked. Now, Valve CEO Gabe Newell has announced that the breach was more serious and in fact goes beyond the Steam Forums.

Mr. Newell has confirmed that the hackers also gained access to the main Steam database. He goes on to say that at this moment there is no evidence to suggest that any Steam Accounts have been compromised nor any encrypted credit card numbers or other personally identifying information stolen. However, it is strongly suggested that as a precaution, all Steam Account holders should change their passwords a soon as possible – and if the same password was used for both the Steam Forum and Steam Account, changing the password is absolutely imperative.

Here is a copy of Gabe Newell’s message in full:

Dear Steam Users and Steam Forum Users:

Our Steam forums were defaced on the evening of Sunday, November 6. We began investigating and found that the intrusion goes beyond the Steam forums.

We learned that intruders obtained access to a Steam database in addition to the forums. This database contained information including user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. We do not have evidence that encrypted credit card numbers or personally identifying information were taken by the intruders, or that the protection on credit card numbers or passwords was cracked. We are still investigating.

We don’t have evidence of credit card misuse at this time. Nonetheless you should watch your credit card activity and statements closely.

While we only know of a few forum accounts that have been compromised, all forum users will be required to change their passwords the next time they login. If you have used your Steam forum password on other accounts you should change those passwords as well.

We do not know of any compromised Steam accounts, so we are not planning to force a change of Steam account passwords (which are separate from forum passwords). However, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to change that as well, especially if it is the same as your Steam forum account password.

We will reopen the forums as soon as we can.

I am truly sorry this happened, and I apologize for the inconvenience.

Gabe.

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

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