Steam/Valve’s Database gets hacked!!

by Taylor G
Summary:

For all of you PC gamers out there, who play games on Steam, watch out!  Last Sunday, November 6, Steam’s servers were hacked.  The hackers were able to access the user database and the user forums.  Initially the company thought that they were just hacking the forums, but later found out that they obtained information from the user database containing user names, hashed/salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information.  The company said that they “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.”  They are still under investigation.  It was somewhat of a coincidence that this occurred just a little less than a week before the release of a new game on Steam called ‘Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V’.  The company suggests the users change their passwords and watch their credit card and bank statements.  Now steam offers something called ‘Steam Guard’ which prevents unwanted users from accessing your computer unless you enter a code, delivered to your email.

Reflection:

I feel like I have been hearing a lot about companies having their customer database’s information stolen because of a hacker.  Maybe 6 months ago, hackers accessed Sony’s Playstation Network’s User Database and put Playstation network down for months in order to maintain security to the consumer databases.  When we sign up and pay to use these services we automatically expect them to maintain the security necessary to protect our information, but has it come to the day where we can’t feel confident enough that companies are going to do everything in their power to keep others from stealing our personal information?  Personally, I have trouble trusting websites with my information now-a-days.  I wonder what is being done about these situations…  Is the law enforcement not doing their jobs and arresting these hackers?  What is there we can do/learn to help protect ourselves from this?  What can we, as Computer Information Systems majors, do to prevent situations like these from occurring?  This is something that has been troubling me and I look forward to future classes when I can learn more about information security.

Fish, E. (2011, November 10). Steam gets hacked: Here’s how to keep safe [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/243596/steam_gets_hacked_heres_how_to_keep_safe.html