It was a scary Christmas Day for Steam, the popular gaming platform operated by Bellevue-based Valve. Users of the service started noticing that account information from other game players was inadvertently being exposed, creating a stir in the gaming community.
In a community forum post, Valve confirmed the problem, but reassured users that no credit card information or phone numbers had been exposed.
“No, Steam is not hacked,” the message said.
Valve later issued this statement after fixing what it dubbed a “caching issue”:
Steam is back up and running without any known issues. As a result of a configuration change earlier today, a caching issue allowed some users to randomly see pages generated for other users for a period of less than an hour. This issue has since been resolved. We believe no unauthorized actions were allowed on accounts beyond the viewing of cached page information and no additional action is required by users.
Some have argued that Valve needs to do a better job of communicating with users when problems arise, explaining what’s going on during an incident rather than waiting until it is resolved. The glitch freaked out some gamers who thought the popular gaming platform had been hacked, and led to rampant speculation about the problem. It also didn’t help that the problem occurred during Steam’s big Winter gaming sale, which runs through Jan. 4th and is one of the platform’s biggest promotional events.
Valve (Steam) Has apparently messed up big time. Other people are able to log into your account… at random. And so are you.
— Dream Warden (@RequiemWings_AE) December 25, 2015
I love Valve/Steam as much as the next, but personal information was exposed. That’s not something you stay quiet about.
— Kyluigi Ren (@KylohRen) December 25, 2015