Earlier this week, Steam’s forums were hacked and they were taken offline in the guise of being under maintenance. However, it turns out that the hackers did more than just breach the forums. According to a statement from Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve, the hackers had managed to gain access to a database with encrypted information.
While it is uncertain if the hackers will be able to crack this encryption, the database contains information such as usernames, passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and even encrypted credit card information. While nothing is confirmed yet, Newell recommended Steam users to watch their credit card activity and statements closely.
If you own a Steam account and have it linked to a credit card, it would be a good idea to change your password now, especially if it uses the same password as your Steam forum account. This isn’t the first time that a gaming service has been hit by hackers (remember Sony earlier this year?) and it definitely won’t be the last. While there’s really not much we can do about it, let’s just hope these companies beef up their security in wake of these attacks.
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.