Valve confirms Steam server intrusion

Hackers gained access to usernames and passwords.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Games developer and distributor Valve has confirmed that hackers gained access to the Steam server and that have gained access to usernames and passwords.

Earlier this week users began reporting problems and strange messages over on the Steam forum shortly before Valve took the forum offline. Hacking was suspected at the time.

Gabe Newell, Managing director of Valve, confirmed the breach in an email to users:

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.


It's a good thing that passwords were encrypted, but it's still an awful lot of information to fall into the hands of bad guys, and a very big black eye for Valve. It's also somewhat worrying that Valve still doesn't have a full grasp of just how big or a breach this was.

It's also sloppy that Steam users aren't told about this via the Steam client software. The news section doesn't mention the breach at all:

[UPDATE: Information relating to the breach appeared in my Steam client today after playing a game:

This is the best way to inform gamers of the breach.]

Thoughts? Do you still trust Valve? Will you buy future games through Steam?

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