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A Message From Gabe Newell Regarding 2011’s Steam Network Intrusion

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Last year, on the 7th of November, the Steam Forums were hacked and defaced by an unknown group of hackers. Only days later, Gabe Newell himself made a public statement to all Steam users, revealing that the attack had been a bit more extensive than believed – intruders gained access to a Steam network database containing encrypted data on user accounts and credit card info. While Valve had no reason to believe the hackers had gained access to any personal information or broken encryption on passwords and credit card info, they advised users to stay alert. The forums went back up not long after that, and not much else happened.

However, Valve has recently found out more about the intrusion, and what exactly the intruders managed to gain access to. Let’s check it out, shall we?

A Message From Gabe Newell Regarding 2011’s Steam Network Intrusion

This is Gabe’s second, and newest statement regarding the attack, sent to us via e-mail, and sent to all Steam users through the Update News feature:

Dear Steam Users and Steam Forum Users,

We continue our investigation of last year’s intrusion with the help of outside security experts.  In my last note about this, I described how intruders had accessed our Steam database but we found no evidence that the intruders took information from that database.  That is still the case. 

Recently we learned that it is probable that the intruders obtained a copy of a backup file with information about Steam transactions between 2004 and 2008.  This backup file contained user names, email addresses, encrypted billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. It did not include Steam passwords.   

We do not have any evidence that the encrypted credit card numbers or billing addresses have been compromised.  However as I said in November it’s a good idea to watch your credit card activity and statements.  And of course keeping Steam Guard on is a good idea as well.

We are still investigating and working with law enforcement authorities.  Some state laws require a more formal notice of this incident so some of you will get that notice, but we wanted to update everyone with this new information now.


Sounds good. Let’s hope the culprits are discovered eventually. Remember, it took over half a year before Axel Gembe (the hacker that broke into Valve’s network in 2003 and made off with a woefully unfinished HL2 and Source’s source code) was arrested in Germany (ironically, it was a seven-hour trial). And even then, he had practically given himself up. So, it could take a while before we find out who was behind this thing.

Still, I’m really, really happy with the way Valve is handling this. Unlike other companies that have suffered attacks of this kind, they know exactly what’s at risk and what isn’t, and they’re keeping us posted regarding everything they find. For now, it seems like all is well in Steamland.


  1. it seems like all is well in Steamland.?

    please tell me what drugs you are on and where i can get some
    as i would like to block out realty too.

    • Yeah, sure! Dihydrogen monoxide. However, it won’t work on you if you’re paranoid enough to believe that your data is actually in jeopardy. Sorry – dihydrogen monoxide doesn’t work on everyone.

  2. If we’re to believe Anonymous, then the authorities already know who is responsible for the hack.

  3. Hey, nice to hear they’re handling it so well.
    (Wheatley as the pic for this, I see what you did there.)

  4. Good to know.

  5. Wheatley as feature image?
    I see what you did there…

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