Valve honcho Gabe Newell says the Steam forum hack is worse than it first appeared and that it’s time for everyone to change their passwords.

It appears that the Steam forum hack that went down earlier this week is more serious than originally thought. A message from Gabe Newell was just sent out to users warning that the attackers got into Steam proper and suggesting that this might be a good time for a password change.

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.


Valve’s reaction stands in stark contrast to the lengthy silence and promises of “no harm done” that came out of Sony in the wake of the PlayStation Network hack. On the other hand, Gabe and company have the benefit of someone else’s experience; the PSN debacle is a straight-up blueprint for exactly how not to handle situations like this.

We’ll let you know if anything else develops.

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