By 11 November 2011 | Categories: news


The latest company to have its security compromised is Valve, whose popular game distribution client, Steam, was hacked yesterday. Gabe Newell, the company’s chief executive officer, elaborated that intruders gained access to the Steam database as well its forums.
The database included information on 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,” he continued. Nonetheless, Newell urged Steam users – who number north of 35 million – to watch their credit card activity and statements closely.
The company reported that while it is currently aware of a few forum accounts that have been compromised, all forum users will be required to change their passwords the next time they login. It further encouraged Steam forum users to change their password on other accounts if they are the same as their Steam password.
According to Wired, the company originally believed that only its forums had been compromised, after users complained that the message boards had been “flooded with advertisements for a group called FknOwned”. Newell apologised profusely for the breach, and pledged to reopen the forums as soon as possible. At the time of writing, we couldn’t connect to our Steam account as yet.

The breach, in which credit card details were involved, is eerily reminiscent of a hack that plagued the PlayStation Network (PSN) earlier this year, in which 77 million users accounts were compromised.

Nonetheless, Sony bounced back from the incident with a Welcome Back programme that offered free games amongst other benefits. It will be interesting to see how Valve addresses the situation – and reassures users that their details are safe on its servers.     

In recent news, a report conducted by Norton revealed that cybercrime cost the global economy $114 billion ((R815 billion) every year.


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