Sony weathered a vicious PSN hack earlier this year that caused an interruption in PlayStation Network service and the release of users’ sensitive information. It looks like someone also has an issue with Valve and its Steam service, as Valve chief Gabe Newell has proactively distributed a letter indicating that Steam has been hacked as well.
It does not appear that the Steam hack / intrusion has led to any misuse of users’ credit card information, although that data was exposed to the hackers.
Valve noted the initial intrusion on November 6, when their forums appeared to have issues. Upon further investigation, the company learned that the forum intrusion went beyond the bulletin-board community and extended to the larger Steam platform.
In Newell’s letter, the full contents of which are pasted below, he outlines the database intrusion in a completely forthright manner and attempts to ease Steam users’ concerns over whether their credit cards will suddenly be used to buy 18 dozen pizzas in Kabul. Here’s the letter in its entirety:
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.