After shutting down for several days, users of Steam's message board forums can now rejoin the community. The forum page run by Valve is now back in operation after it was defaced by cyber attackers late on Sunday, November 6. Valve was silent about this issue until Thursday, when the company's co-founder and CEO Gabe Newell sent an IM to Steam users announcing that not only had the message board been defaced but the cyber attackers had also gained access to a Steam database with user information. Newell said that important information on that database, such as passwords and credit card information, was heavily encrypted.
With the restoration of the message boards, everything on Steam is now back up to speed. Unlike the Playstation Network cyber attacks earlier this year, which caused Sony to shut down PSN completely for a number of weeks, Steam users were still able to download and purchase PC games. PC games with Steamworks enabled were still able to play online, gain achievements and more.
However, there are still questions that remain about this latest gaming-related cyber attack such as how the unknown parties gained access to the message boards and the Steam user database in the first place. Several years ago, Valve had the Half-Life 2 source code stolen from its servers by a hacker who was later found and arrested. You might think that after that incident Valve might have some better ideas on how to protect its property against future cyber break-ins.
So far there's no word if Valve has alerted any law enforcement authorities to this latest breach of its servers.