Gaming service Valve falls victim to massive data breach

Gaming service Valve falls victim to massive data breach

A gaming company recently experienced a massive data breach, as hackers infiltrated its community forums and a database containing customer credit card information.

Cybercriminals hacked into Valve's Steam gaming service and accessed various customer information, including credit card account numbers. The information was encrypted, and it's not yet known if the data was taken or merely accessed. Steam's database also contained usernames, passwords, email addresses and billing addresses.

"We learned that intruders obtained access to a Steam database in addition to the forums," said Valve co-founder Gabe Newell in a letter to users.

The attack comes just months after Sony's PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment system were hacked, exposing the personal information of 100 million users and costing Sony millions.

"Gaming companies are the new gold mine of consumer identity information for hackers," said data protection expert Wasim Ahmad, according to eWeek.

According to a recent Bureau of Justice Statistics survey, 5 percent of U.S. residents over the age of 16 were victims of identity theft during a two-year period, with more than half of those experiencing credit card fraud. Financial losses during the two-year span totaled $17 billion.