Three days ago the Steam forums were hacked by a group calling itself “FknOwned.” They placed an advertisement on the forums for their own website promising “general discussion sections, hacking tutorials and tools, porn, free giveaways and much more.”

At first it was just thought to be a stupid prank which resulted in the defacement of the forums. Unfortunately, it seems that the group is making good on its promise of ‘much more’ as the Steam forum hack situation has become much more serious.

Today, Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of video game development and online distribution at Valve, sent an email to both forum and general Steam users saying that the hack may have compromised more than just the forums. Apparently, the hackers gained access to a database that housed user information including email addresses, encrypted passwords, and encrypted credit card details.

Newell’s message asserts that Valve currently does not know if the information within that database was actually taken or if the encryption has been cracked. However, the email does state that forum users will be required to change their passwords and that if those members were using their Steam passwords for other sites that they should change those as well to be safe. For those that have not yet received it, the message in its entirety, is posted below:

“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.

Gabe.”

The message does state that the investigation into the incident is still on-going which means that we’ll probably hear more about this in the coming days. The incident at Valve is part of a growing list of major hacks this year against big name video game companies such as Sony and Nintendo.

In the meantime, we’ll stay on top of it and repeat Gabe’s advice to all of you that you should change any passwords that were the same as your Steam passwords and watch your credit card statements.

Follow me on Twitter @VivasKaul

tags: PC, Steam, Valve

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