Steam Sets Record for Concurrent Users but Experiences Security Issues

Steam stats revealed that the online gaming service had set a new record for concurrent users – 12,332,504 users were online at the same time today. This is a new record by a large margin as well, as the previous record, set in October, was only a little over 10.7 million.

The most popular games when the record was set were DOTA 2, which reached a peak of 940,373 users, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with 652,925 users, Fallout 4, at 114,195 users and GTA V, which had 92,539 users at its peak. This new record is most likely a result of the combination of Christmas and New Years week, during which time both students and adults enjoy time off from their various responsibilities.

Christmas Day Steam Attack

While the new record is exciting, not all the news that Steam had to share over the holidays was particularly positive. On Christmas day, gamers reported some odd behavior in the Steam client as it began displaying different languages, most prominently Russian, as users browsed the Steam Store. Some users who then looked at their account settings were surprised to see other user’s personal information, such as email addresses, phone numbers and even partial credit card numbers. Valve’s only visible response on Christmas day was to shut down the Steam Store altogether a little while later.

On the 30th, Valve finally issued a statement regarding the incident in a post on the steam website. In the statement, Valve explains that the Steam Store was the victim of a DoS attack that resulted in users viewing the wrong information. According to the announcement, the only information that was returned was a user’s “billing address, the last four digits of their Steam Guard phone number, their purchase history, the last two digits of their credit card number, and/or their email address. These cached requests did not include full credit card numbers, user passwords, or enough data to allow logging in as or completing a transaction as another user.”

This is not the first instance of Steam users’ personal information being hacked. An article posted on The Next Web stated that 77,000 users are hacked every month. A large portion of this, according to Valve, is due to the trading system. Valve has implemented a new set of rules to help reduce the security risks that trading holds.

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