Steam hit by hack attack

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The online game download service Steam has been hit by a major attack from a group of hackers who are rumoured to have accessed databases containing credit card and ID details.

Steam is a service that allows users to buy, download and discuss all manner of games, not just ones made by Valve. It has a library of some of the biggest releases and a lot of independent games totally around 1,500 titles.

The owners of the website,Valve, found the intrusion after they discovered a security breach in one of the websites discussion forums. Hackers used the information from the forum to access a database where the credit card and ID information was stored. All Valve can confirm is that a few forum accounts had been compromised and used to carry out the hacking.

Valve have so far said there is no evidence that the credit cards have been misused since the original breach happened on the 6th November, when the forums where also removed after the security breach was found.

Valve boss Gabe Newell posted a message on the front page of the forums yesterday revealing that the sites were shut down because of a ‘defacement’. He also confirmed that he was not sure whether the full database of steam’s 35 million active accounts was accessed or just a smaller total.

For security reasons Valve have asked all forum users to change their passwords when the discussion site re opens, which they are working on to get back open soon. Mr Newell went on to apologize, ” I am truly sorry this happened and apologize for the inconvenience.”

It is the latest act of hacking this year which has seen some of the largest entertainment companies in the world attacked. The most notorious of which being the hacking scandal involving Sony’s Playstation network were the service was shut down for several weeks and some 100,000 accounts being targeted.

Greg Collins