Posted Thu Dec 31, 2015 at 07:32 AM PST by Justin Clark
Statement issued explaining Steam's Christmas Day problems.
It was a nice, peaceful Christmas Day for most gamers full of love, joy, and laughter, up until about midday when pretty much anybody with a Steam account made like an air raid siren went off and was forced to lock down their accounts, because a glitch caused about 35,000 Steam users to have their info exposed at random to anyone who accessed the service.
Valve was slow to respond on the day, and was even slower with the explanation, but nevertheless, they have finally decided to give us one, in the form of a detail news post via Steam.
The tl;dr version is this: Early Christmas morning, some script-kid chuckleheads decided to launch a DDOS attack on Steam's servers. Valve, who is pretty much used to this kind of thing, enacted their usual technical protocols to mitigate the damage, letting legit transactions take place, and filtering out the white noise from the DDOS attack. Somewhere along the way, one of the protocols routed the traffic wrong, making it so that if, say, a customer was buying a game, and was about to get the screen showing their real name, payment info, and address, that page was routed incorrectly some other rando also using the service may have seen that information. Once Valve realized the error, they shut down the store until they could get a new protocol set up and confirm the wayward web traffic was being routed properly.
The good news is that if you weren't making a purchase on Steam during the affected time (between about 11:50 AM and 1:20 PM Pacific), you can relax, your info was never exposed. The bad news is, even as we speak, Valve still isn't 100% on everybody who was affected. They have promised, however, to reach out to those folks when it happened and that, aside from being able to view the information, no changes to said info could have occurred. Not that this lowers anyone's blood pressure about the whole thing, mind you.
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