Valve recently informed PC Gamer that Steam’s database has been compromised, and that a message warning of this is being sent out to all users of Steam. The problem is still being investigated. Remember, your Steam password is separate from the forum password. Even though the forum was recently compromised, it turns out that the backend of Steam itself was also hit. Details after the jump.
“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.”
What this means is that usernames, encrypted passwords, emails, purchase history, your address, and credit card info (also encrypted) has been accessible to a hacker. However they made sure to explicitly state that the passwords were hashed and salted and that the credit card details were encrypted. Encryption isn’t perfect but it provides a secure bastion of defense against theft of data. Regardless, you should keep a very strong eye on your credit card details and change your Steam password.
Data encryption means that the data is simply churned into unreadable garbage, and that the encryption key is needed to ungarbage it. Valve takes your security seriously, and Gabe is so confident in the Steam Guard system he has publicly posted his username and password for Steam as a testament to its power.
If you wish to change your Steam password, open up Steam, click Steam at the top-left corner of the interface, and then settings. The rest is self-explanatory. Steam is very secure in its account protection and keeping accounts in your hands, let’s hope this stays a small mess.