Valve's Gabe Newell: Hackers access Steam database comprised of sensitive data

Summary:Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve, posted a bulletin on Steam letting users know that hackers gained access to a database containing sensitive information. Read his announcement here.

More troubling news today in regards to hackers running amok amongst Value's Steam properties. In a message posted on November 10 by Valve's co-founder Gabe Newell, we now know that hackers gained access to a database containing user names, hashed and salted passwords, encrypted credit card information, and more. This news follows the announcement earlier in the week of Steam's forums being defaced.

Though it's still not clear to Valve just how much information was directly accessed from the database, their advice is to change your password on any service that matches your Steam forum account credentials -- be it email, messenger, your bank, Facebook, etc. Additionally, it's recommended that you keep an eye on your credit card/bank account usage for the time being.

Quickly doing some additional checking around the Web, some Steam uses are saying they've had fraudulent charges show up on their credit card activity this week, but that may just be a matter of coincidence or simply not true at all, since there's no proof yet of any credit card data being directly accessed or decrypted.

Here is Gabe's official statement:

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.

We'll be sure to bring you the very latest on the issue if/when Valve has an update to confirm exactly what all was accessed from the database, if anything at all.

-Stephen Chapman

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Topics: Security, Banking

About

Stephen is a freelance writer and blogger based in Charlotte, NC. His contributions to ZDNet cover topics related to security, gaming, Microsoft, Apple, and other topics of interest with a tech/SMB skew.

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