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Steam hacked, Valve 'truly sorry'

Steam, the online games download service, has been hacked in a new security breach.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Game download service Steam has been hacked, with intruders getting access to a Steam database that contained gamers' personal information.

Steam is run by Half-Life maker Valve, whose co-founder Gabe Newell confirmed the breach in a statement, saying that the company was "truly sorry this happened."

Newell said the database that was compromised contained user names, encrypted passwords, details of game purchases and email addresses, as well as billing addresses and 'hashed and salted' passwords (hashing and salting are techniques for making passwords difficult to crack, and also make our stomachs rumble).

Credit card information was also contained on the database, but it was encrypted. Steam says it has no evidence of credit card misuse, but advises customers to "watch your credit card activity and statements closely".

Gaming services are still working, but the Steam forums have been shut down for now. Anyone using the Steam forums will have to change their password next time they log in, and customers have been advised to change their passwords on other accounts, if those accounts use the same password.

We have to applaud Valve's response to the situation -- issuing what appears to be a frank account of what happened, as well as an apology, goes a long way to mending broken hearts.

Sony came under fire for failing to quickly notify its customers during the PSN breach and subsequent outage earlier this year -- an attack that saw millions of gamers' personal data nicked and, almost more importantly, the PS3's online services unavailable for a considerable length of time.

Does this latest breach shake your confidence in Steam? How well do you think Valve handed this situation? Let us know in the comments below, or on our Facebook wall.