Hardcore PC gamers have been gossiping about the closure of the gaming giant Valve’s forums for the past week. Following a hack that replaced the banner atop the forums with an advertisement for a hack site Sunday, November 6th, the forums were closed and have remained offline ever since without a word of explanation. Tonight Valve finally decided to speak. To the press, not their 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.”
Fortunately this is a good deal better than the PSN hack from earlier this year due to passwords and credit card information actually being encrypted. Unfortunately, this is yet another example of how little respect businesses have for their customers.
Update: Valve has finally posted the above message on their forums to replace their generic “Forums are down for maintenance” post. The company still appears unwilling to directly email their users to notify them personally of the fact that their personal information has been stolen.