Valve has recently confirmed and notified users of the irregularities that have occurred on Sunday, November 6. Apparently, user information from the forums has been compromised along with encrypted credit card data. The Steam forums were attacked by a group of hackers and the company decided to take them offline so the following message could be read for a while: “The Steam Forums are temporarily offline for maintenance. Your patience is appreciated.”
Of course, at the time nobody really knew what was going on and now Valve released an official response to explain the situation. The database was accessed by hackers and they had access to information like usernames, passwords, lists of downloaded games, e-mail addresses and even encrypted credit card information. Valve has stated that there’s no evidence that the intruders took any kind of personal information with them, but the Washington-based company encourages everybody to change their passwords just in case. Up to now, nobody complained about somebody misusing their credit cards, but Steam said that users should still check if their information has been modified in any way.
Additionally, there has been suspicious activity on some forums so as a consequence, certain users decided to change their passwords, but in any case, most of the compromised forums are still offline. It should be noted that even though many people are comparing this incident to the one the PlayStation Network suffered a few months ago, personally I don’t think this is that serious. After all, millions of user accounts were compromised and PSN had to be taken offline for several weeks before they could solve the issue and it seems like Steam is functioning perfectly and only the forums were affected by the attack.
Finally, here’s Gabe Newell’s official message regarding the problems with Steam:
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.