Valve to offer free games as compensation for Steam issues

Valve is apparently prepared to offer users of its Steam PC game download service some compensation for the cyber attack that shut down the Steam forums and exposed a database of user information to the attackers. Lo-Ping.com reports that in an email to a Steam customer, Valve CEO Gabe Newell said, "... we're going to be rolling out some free copies of DOTA 2 and Portal 2 soon." No other details about the free giveaway have been announced.

Valve admitted on Thursday that the cyber attack on the Steam message board forums on Sunday night extended to a database that, "contained information including user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information." So far there's no evidence that the encrypted data has been hacked. Indeed, Newell said in the same email about the free games that the company used AES256 encryption for the database, adding, "If whoever has them manages to decrypt it, we would have bigger problems to worry about than stolen credit card information ... what with the laws of physics being broken."

It has to be said that this situation is not as severe as the Playstation Network cyber attack earlier this year. Sony made the decision to completely shut down PSN for several weeks, which kept tens of millions of PS3 gamers unable to play multiplayer games, download games and demos and more. Steam's cyber attack has resulted in the message board forum being shut down but everything else on Steam has remained online, which should please the 35 million Steam users.

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