Steam Security Follow-up

1UP.com has a follow-up from Valve about reports that the Steam servers may have been compromised (story). Word from Doug Lombardi is that while information may have been retrieved from a third-party site, Steam is still safely contained in their steampipes:
Doug Lombardi, director of marketing at Valve, says, "There has been no security breach of Steam." However, he does confirm our expert's findings by adding, "The alleged hacker gained access to a third-party site that Valve uses to manage the commercial partners in its Cyber Café program. This Cyber Café billing system is not connected to Steam. We are working with law enforcement agencies on this matter, and encourage anyone with more information to e-mail us at Catch_A_Thief@valvesoftware.com."
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82 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 2.
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62.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 25, 2007, 13:28
62.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 25, 2007, 13:28
Apr 25, 2007, 13:28
 
Second, I have NEVER seen another company prevent a paying customer from using his purchase after the fact due to his language in dealing with customer service.
That's because most people don't talk like complete twats to people trying to help them. Phone up Microsoft next time you want to do an activation and say "Oi motherfucker activate my f..." (you get the point) and see how far you get. Next time your cable tv stops working phone up and say something similar. If you act like a 9 year old, you can hardly expect much sympathy from the person on the other end of the phone. On email you're even less likely to get a response. m00zilla's emails are probably going straight to Junk because they class them with the "Find people in your area to fuck tonight" sort of mails

There is nothing specious about my comparison
Yes there is. Microsoft is an enormous company with sufficient resources to have 24 hour helplines. No games company (and I've checked) has 24 hour help. No other digital distributor even has a telephone helpline - the whole point is that they try to keep things digital.

it was YOU who brought up Microsoft's activation in comparison with Steam
Yes, but not in the context of what sort of support they should provide. My point was that a problem with Windows Activation puts people SOL until it's sorted. A problem with McAffee's validation thing puts people SOL until it's sorted. A problem with Steam puts people SOL until it's sorted. That's a valid comparison in my opinion. As mentioned above, I'm not so sure comparing what MS and Valve should offer in terms of phone support is a fair comparison. You may disagree, you're welcome to do so.


This comment was edited on Apr 25, 13:34.
Avatar 18712
61.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 24, 2007, 22:05
61.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 24, 2007, 22:05
Apr 24, 2007, 22:05
 
Why would it guarantee error-free operation
I don't expect a guarantee of error-free operation. That is unrealistic. However, customers do deserve some kind of guarantee of operation so that they can play their games whenever they choose in virtual perpetuity regardless of the existence or whims of Valve. Traditional retail games delivered on physical media do have such a virtual guarantee. So long as the customer possesses the media and keeps it in operating condition, he can play his game whenever he chooses in virtual perpetuity. Right now the only thing Valve guarantees is that it can terminate customers' ability to play their games at any time for any reason. And, in mOOzilla's case and others, it has done just that.

And think about where the company makes its money. It certainly doesn't make it off of subscriptions, except from Cybercafe's perhaps.
That is no small exception. According to the financial figures released by the hacker in question, Valve had collected nine million dollars from such fees at the time the hacker accessed the records. That was probably a quarterly or monthly accumulation, but even if it were for a longer period, that is still no trivial amount of revenue.

With that in mind, who pays for the servers you play on?
Fellow users. Valve does NOT run most if any of the game servers which host its games. They are paid and run by users who purchased its games.

Would you rather have to pay more for a game just so you can talk to someone on the phone
I don't pay more now when I buy games from other publishers who do have telephone contact for their customer support. Valve is simply being cheap and skimping on servicing and supporting its customers.

Email and the web interface seems to service them well enough
They don't serve customers well enough, and that should be the goal NOT the company's bottom line.

This comment was edited on Apr 24, 22:18.
60.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 24, 2007, 21:53
60.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 24, 2007, 21:53
Apr 24, 2007, 21:53
 
Gamers are one of the most fickle
No, they aren't on a large scale. They are sheep and lemmings. That is why they still play Valve's same old games online after all of these years despite Steam, despite the outages, and now despite the addition of in-game advertising.

Lol, and you thought mine was a specious comparison
There is nothing specious about my comparison. It was YOU who brought up Microsoft's activation in comparison with Steam. My point is that Microsoft's customer service is MUCH more available and responsive than Valve's AND Microsoft's activation is much less burdensome because of it. When Steam fails (even on a large scale as has happened numerous times in the history of Steam), the user is shit out of luck and when service is finally restored if he is luckly, he gets the perfunctory apology from Valve after the fact. With Microsoft's activation I have gotten back up and running withing minutes regardless of the time of day.

This comment was edited on Apr 24, 22:12.
59.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 24, 2007, 21:39
59.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 24, 2007, 21:39
Apr 24, 2007, 21:39
 
Moozilla's problem is that he's an ass.
Yes, mOOzilla is an ass, BUT he is still a paying customer. Your problem is that you are a Valve apologist. Valve has no moral right to prevent mOOzilla from playing the games for which he paid his hard-earned money. At most Valve could refuse to handle his customer service requests (which even then isn't really justified regardless of his language or demeanor), but there is absolutely no justification for preventing mOOzilla from being able to play the games for which he paid. Valve's games are presented at retail as products like other video games NOT as tenuous subscription-based services. Valve should NOT be able to terminate a customer's ability to play a game he has purchased from it.

And if you think that such horrible service isn't common, you need to get out more.
First, no horrible service is justified regardless of how common it may be. Second, I have NEVER seen another company prevent a paying customer from using his purchase after the fact due to his language in dealing with customer service. Imagine if Dell could disable a customer's PC because he cursed at its customer support department. Valve has done the equivalent here.

And if you look around the net, you'll find a lot of gaming sites that follow the same type of rules
Again the huge difference here is that Valve's retail games are overtly presented to the customer as a product NOT a tenuous service which can be terminated at any time. Sure subscription-based games usually have restrictive terms of service because those games are a service and the customer is fully made aware of their tenous nature prior to paying for the subscription. With Valve's retail games, the Steam subscriber agreement is never presented to the customer prior to opening the box and installing the software. So the customer cannot return the product if he does not assent to the agreement. And even then, the Steam agreement is cryptic and flies in the face of the consumers' normal expectation of a retail video game as a product not a tenuous service.

This comment was edited on Apr 25, 09:43.
58.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 24, 2007, 17:30
58.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 24, 2007, 17:30
Apr 24, 2007, 17:30
 
That is a specious comparison.
Ok - a lot of gamers feel 3D Realms have 'fucked them over' with DNF. Ion Storm pissed off a lot of gamers with their attitude before they even released a product. Gamers are one of the most fickle and immature fanbases (as a whole, and unfortunately it's the whole that counts) and wouldn't hesitate to turn to Valve bashers if they quit supporting their games.

I have telephoned Microsoft at 2:00 a.m. before and received an activation within minutes.
Lol, and you thought mine was a specious comparison.


Avatar 18712
57.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 24, 2007, 16:18
57.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 24, 2007, 16:18
Apr 24, 2007, 16:18
 
Given that prior to his posts in this thread mOOzilla sung the praises of Steam in almost every damn post he made on this forum (including in threads that weren't even remotely about Steam), I seriously doubt he is lying here. Plus, it's not as if the poor treatment he received at the hands of Valve is unprecedented. The perils and tenuous nature of Steam are obvious just by reading the Steam subscriber agreement, and of course Valve's customer service is notoriously inattentive and unaccomodating. Hell, the company is so cheap and aloof that it doesn't even have a telephone number for customers to contact it. It's easier to ignore customers and refuse their requests when you don't actually have to listen to customers complain. So, it certainly doesn't surprise me that mOOzilla got burned. It could happen to any Steam customer at any time as Valve essentially guarantees in the Steam subscriber agreement where it states "VALVE DOES NOT GUARANTEE CONTINUOUS, ERROR-FREE, VIRUS-FREE OR SECURE OPERATION AND ACCESS TO STEAM, THE STEAM SOFTWARE, YOUR ACCOUNT AND/OR YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS(S)." The only guarantee for Steam customers is that there is no guarantee that they will be able to play the games for which they paid their hard-earned money.

I think you're suffering from a misconception here, Riley. Why would it guarantee error-free operation when, as an Internet only entity, there are too many factors that could result in you getting any one of these errors, that could also be caused by too many other factors. All that statement does is put the burden of proof on the consumer, rather than the company. And if your ISP goes down, should Steam be held accountable, which is what you seem to be suggesting. How about if a router goes down between Steam and your ISP and you're unable to connect. Are you then going to blame Steam?

You spout off the platitudes of someone who so blindly hates something that they don't see other possibilities. And think about where the company makes its money. It certainly doesn't make it off of subscriptions, except from Cybercafe's perhaps. It doesn't make them off of usage statistics. It makes its money as a medium to buy games and a publisher. With that in mind, who pays for the servers you play on? Or the connections to those servers? Or the anti-cheating technology used to keep the servers secure? It boils down to this, if you don't like the service, don't pay for it.

Would you rather have to pay more for a game just so you can talk to someone on the phone rather than through email? Is your instant gratification so instilled? Email and the web interface seems to service them well enough, and if their business were truly hurting, then they might add call center support, but so far, they obviously haven't felt the need for it.

I've already stated my opinion on m00zilla, and you're like the doomsayer out there, "Something bad is going to happen because life sucks.", and then, when someone dies because they get attacked by a shark, you'll be right there, "I told you so!"

56.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 24, 2007, 14:08
nin
 
56.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 24, 2007, 14:08
Apr 24, 2007, 14:08
 nin
 
Moozilla's problem is that he's an ass.

Actually, it's Assley that's the Ass.

Assley Putz!
Assley Putz!
Assley Putz!



-----------------------------------------------------
Listen, now: http://yearzero.nin-thespiral.com/FLJoi4gjw2f/player.html
55.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 24, 2007, 13:36
55.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 24, 2007, 13:36
Apr 24, 2007, 13:36
 
You're actually incorrect there, Riley. Moozilla's problem is that he's an ass. Pure and simple. He's pissed off because he got banned for being an ass.

My experiences have run the gamut. I've had some where they handled the problem quickly and efficiently, and I've had problems where I felt I got jerked around because they didn't have a fucking clue what was going on and were just bouncing me around until the problem solved itself. And this is from both companies.

Just because you disagree with something doesn't make it wrong. And if you think that such horrible service isn't common, you need to get out more. Just off the top of my head, there is Comcast, Bank of America, Dell. I bet just by using google, I could find tons more with horror stories much worse than this.

And if you look around the net, you'll find a lot of gaming sites that follow the same type of rules, regardless if you've paid money or not. If you break those rules, then you are gone. m00zilla is not telling the whole story and simply by the content of his post, I can almost guarantee that he wasn't banned simply out of spite.

54.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 24, 2007, 13:29
54.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 24, 2007, 13:29
Apr 24, 2007, 13:29
 
m00zilla, hm. Your post is filled with contradictions. Your attitude shows that you have no remorse for breaking their rules. Also, he said he would look into the situation, not re-enable the account. Going by what you've posted here, I would say that your outburst was probably pretty severe for them to have gone through this much trouble and they decided it would be best if you didn't come back. And using the 'I paid money, I have rights' doesn't apply. You still broke their rules, of which you should have been aware. When you go to a movie theater and start shouting profanity, you think they won't cart your ass out of there?

Also, Valve is already in business in Europe. Valve is available World-wide. So you might want to think about what you're posting before you actually do so.

The only problem I see is the loss of reputation. A lot of 'I don't trust Valve', yadda yadda yadda. Honestly, they're not hurting for business. You think TJ Maxxx suddenly lost a lot of business because they had their security systems hijacked? Most people won't care until it affects them personally. Welcome to human nature. And as far as this incident goes, it's really not /that/ big of a deal. "Your credit card may or may not have been compromised. Please contact your bank/credit card vendor and have them monitor your account for any activity that you don't authorize." Sure, it might be an inconvenience, but you have to weight the inconvenience against the inconvenience of either not running Steam for Counterstrike or mailing bills to everyone.

As far as Valve goes, for one, they would be liable for making statements falsifying the details of the breach. And if you're so concerned, just make a call to your bank. And they're not going to release any details until the investigation is done, so clamoring for them now isn't going to do any good. And if you're claiming that you won't trust them until a third party investigates them, heh. I'm sorry, but you need to wake up. Do you require your bank to alert you that the police found their bank to be secure before you do business with them? Or that the manager of the restuarant you're visiting give you background reports on all his employees that may have access to your credit card info?

This comment was edited on Apr 24, 13:40.
53.
 
Re: Coincidentally...
Apr 24, 2007, 13:14
53.
Re: Coincidentally... Apr 24, 2007, 13:14
Apr 24, 2007, 13:14
 

Contact, you're making a lot of speculation there. For one, how do you know it wasn't someone you know? Because if all the cracker did was reclaim your Steam account after getting your CC#, then what was the point, really? And if they were successful at cracking Steam, then a lot of other accounts would have been hijacked as well.

I'm sorry, but your story doesn't make that much sense in the spin you are trying to put on it.

This comment was edited on Apr 24, 13:39.
52.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 23, 2007, 19:42
52.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 23, 2007, 19:42
Apr 23, 2007, 19:42
 
Look at the PS3's lack of success vs the PS2, which had an equally rabid (and 100x larger) fanbase.
That is a specious comparison. If the PS3 had games that the fans really wanted, it would have their business. The high price doesn't help, but if the games were there, the fans would still be buying it.

But I bet it happens to Microsoft's Windows activation thing
While I am no fan of MIcrosoft's activation, it is much more liberal and accessible than Valve when it comes to granting activations. I have telephoned Microsoft at 2:00 a.m. before and received an activation within minutes. Valve doesn't even have a customer service number at all, and its customer service is MUCH less responsive, and as mOOzilla demonstrated, it can do you more harm than good.

Databases screw up sometimes. There's no excuse for not getting mOOzilla et al back on track ASAP, but it's hardly unique to Valve, and it's hardly common.
mOOzilla's problem is no database screwup. It's Valve's screwed up customer service policy. And no, such horrible service is NOT common (except from Valve). I have never heard of a company terminating a customer's ability to use the products he bought from it simply because it didn't like the language he used when he complained. That is pure unadulterated hubris, and there is no excuse for such poor treatment of customers.

This comment was edited on Apr 23, 19:58.
51.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 23, 2007, 14:44
51.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 23, 2007, 14:44
Apr 23, 2007, 14:44
 
It wouldn't be commercial suicide for a company with a huge, rabid following like Valve
Er, yes it would. Anyone who is of low enough IQ to be a rabid fanboy is equally dumb to change his allegiance depending on what he reads on Kotaku. Look at the PS3's lack of success vs the PS2, which had an equally rabid (and 100x larger) fanbase.

You are also conveniently overlooking the fact that even if Valve doesn't cutoff everyone from a game doesn't mean that it won't cutoff YOU
Yes, that happens, and when it does it's unfortunate. It's a problem with Steam which shouldn't happen. But I bet it happens to Microsoft's Windows activation thing, and to McAffee's register of who owns their software, and to WoW on occasions. Databases screw up sometimes. There's no excuse for not getting mOOzilla et al back on track ASAP, but it's hardly unique to Valve, and it's hardly common.

Avatar 18712
50.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 23, 2007, 14:16
50.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 23, 2007, 14:16
Apr 23, 2007, 14:16
 
So, no HL2 Episode two money from me. This is where it will HURT them, their latest hard work and effort (laugh). Seriously, If you want a way to protest them, boycott HL2 Epp 2.

I haven't bought a thing from Valve since H-L 2. I don't think it's made much impact. But I will never buy another thing from them. Ever. They are con-men and crooks.

49.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 23, 2007, 14:13
49.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 23, 2007, 14:13
Apr 23, 2007, 14:13
 
Sounds to me like you are just a dumbass. You can't re-register your serial number to another account once you have already done it.

Why wouldn't I be able to do that? I paid for the game. It shouldn't be a big hassle if I want to play again even if I change emails or forget my password.

Steam takes control away from the customer and that is bad.

48.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 23, 2007, 12:47
48.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 23, 2007, 12:47
Apr 23, 2007, 12:47
 
For all your willingness to point the 'sky is falling' stick at other people, you seem to conveniently overlook the commercial suicide such a move would inevitably entail.
It wouldn't be commercial suicide for a company with a huge, rabid following like Valve. Just look at the numerous bans which have occured for supposedly cheating WOW players. Most will simply pay again to keep playing. Plus there are plenty more fish in the sea to churn even if those didn't.

You are also conveniently overlooking the fact that even if Valve doesn't cutoff everyone from a game doesn't mean that it won't cutoff YOU. Look at mOOzilla. Valve has already cut him off from all of his Steam games, and he is not alone in that predicament. The bottom line is that Valve guarantees nothing with Steam when it comes to availability, and it fully delivers on that guarantee for at least some of its customers.

This comment was edited on Apr 23, 12:52.
47.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 23, 2007, 11:28
47.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 23, 2007, 11:28
Apr 23, 2007, 11:28
 
Yes, seriously enough to spend a lot of money on video games from a company that can terminate its customers' ability to play those games for any reason including because it doesn't like their verbiage.
For all your willingness to point the 'sky is falling' stick at other people, you seem to conveniently overlook the commercial suicide such a move would inevitably entail. Valve (I imagine) have big plans for Steam, plans which would be doomed if they make a wrong move so early in the lifecycle of digital distribution. Given the enormous benefits Valve stand to gain by their platform being the most popular (NB I'm not saying the best) I'm not overly worried about the (admitted) possibility that they could turn off the taps at some point, whatever their EULA says.
This comment was edited on Apr 23, 11:30.
Avatar 18712
46.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 23, 2007, 02:51
46.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 23, 2007, 02:51
Apr 23, 2007, 02:51
 
They even got mySpace, take a look:

http://www.myspace.com/freesteam

Avatar 571
45.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 23, 2007, 01:05
45.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 23, 2007, 01:05
Apr 23, 2007, 01:05
 
Thats actually a good Idea

Since Im in Europe, theyre in the US. Consumer laws here are VERY VERY comprehensive and strict (so comprehensive that you are even protected outside of warranties )

If they dont show, the court continues without their representation LOL.

I doubt they will fly somebody over for a small claims court since theyre so arrogant.

Since I can represent myself in a small claims court, Im not bound by laws of evidence so I can get away with murder, however a solicitor (which a company is most likely to send) is bound by laws of evidence

Oh so many ways to have fun at Valve's expense

Now, if a lot of people did this


PS: This wouldnt be just for one game, this is for EVERY game I have that uses Steam This would be embarassing to the publishers that deploy over Steam

This could open a Pandora's Box of nasties for the gaming industry. DRM regulation *cough cough*

While I am at it, I think I will also send a complaint to the watch dog bodies here They can form "super complaints" that are escilated fast tracked complaints that carry a lot of weight.

This comment was edited on Apr 23, 01:20.
44.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 22, 2007, 18:14
44.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 22, 2007, 18:14
Apr 22, 2007, 18:14
 
Dude why not take your complaint to small claims court? I would bet money you'd win your money back from Valve, as long as you have everything in order and act like a adult in the court room.


As much as Valve (and other companies)would like not to fallow the rules, the States wont let them . Most state's have consumer right's that trumph any ELUA .

43.
 
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned
Apr 22, 2007, 10:35
43.
Re: GREAT NEWS that valve got pwned Apr 22, 2007, 10:35
Apr 22, 2007, 10:35
 
Exactly, all Thomas had to do was just do what most people do, Ignore. I even suggest to him if he cant handle that, he could block my "support" emails but still continue my access to the products I PAID for.

But no, he decided to STEAL then LIE to me.

I was even kind enough to appologise since he cannot handle the real world where people do say the F word now and then to be descriptive as he requested. IF he thinks I am going to send email after email to him begging and appologising he is very much mistaken and in need of a reality check to get off his powertrip. He really should stop drinking from the company water cooler.

I am still waiting on Thomas to keep his side of his promise, to enable my account.

Im still waiting, and waiting and waiting.

Thomas at Valve is both a THEIF and a LIAR.

The only thing Thomas at Valve has acomplished is Negative PR, less money from me, more negative PR dragging his own name through the DIRT.


Everybody should create a support ticket with the F word in it, imagine him having to explain disabling 100,000 customers and 100,000 possible HL2 Episode 2 sales

Maddox if you are reading this here is an idea.

Find out who Valve uses for Credit Card authentications and get them kicked off that authentication service. Without Credit Card authentications, Steam is up shit creek without a paddle A few fraud reports is usually enough to get them on a watch list. This scares the pants of most online merchants

Valve is you are reading this, great employee you have there, he is out doing your press guy Making lots of friends I see.

This comment was edited on Apr 22, 11:21.
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