Yesterday members of the PC/Mac digital downloads portal Steam received a message from Gabe Newell, CEO of Valve (Steam’s owner), informing them that the security of the popular digital downloads portal had been compromised.

The company had originally thought that the attack, which occurred last Sunday, Nov. 6, was limited to Steam’s message board forums. However, after further investigation it turns out that the hackers gained access to a database containing members’ personal information such as passwords and email addresses.

In his message, Newell encourages all Steam members to change their Steam account passwords as well as their forum passwords.

Here is Newell’s entire message:

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.


Steam is one of the world’s leading PC/Mac digital download game portals, with a catalog of more than 1,100 games.