Valve: Steam Database Hacked, Watch Your Credit Card Records

Friday, November 11, 2011
By OP Editor

Gamers beware. Steam forums hack spread to Steam gaming service. Some important data compromised, including encrypted credit card data.

Steam hack November 6

Valve, creator of popular games Portal, Team Fortress, and Half Life, and proprietor of Mac + PC online game store and community “Steam“, announced that November 6 hackers of separate Steam Forums might had access to the main Steam database containing personal information. Valve Software co-founder Gabe Newell:

November 10th, 2011
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.

Last year, Sony PlayStation network was hacked, with millions of accounts and passwords compromised. It was originally one Sony service hacked, then another, then another. It resulted in Sony services shut down for over a month.

But the circumstances seem very different with Steam. Hackers had a vendetta against Sony, for its lawsuit against PlayStation hacker / jailbreaker GeoHot and others. There is no public hacker vendetta against Steam. In addition, Steam seems to be reacting much faster than Sony. And instead of storing important information in plain text or easy to decrypt form, Steam stores credit card encrypted and passwords hashed / salted.

ObamaPacman recommendation for the security conscious Steam user:

  • Change your Steam password. (And if you used the same email / password elsewhere, then change that too). If the hackers also had access to the salt function, then a password can be brute forced.
  • You should monitor credit card info used with Steam closely, or even get a new credit card. Any data can be decrypted, all it take is time and computing resources.

Image not of the November 6 Valve hack.

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