Steampunk’d on Christmas – Valve explains Steam caching mishap

Steampunk’d on Christmas – Valve explains Steam caching mishapMany a Steam user got a rude awakening on Friday, or, to be more appropriate, a lump of coal in their Christmas stockings. That was because these users logged into the Steam website, only to see someone else’s account credentials, all out in the open. Some users even claimed that they were charged for games they didn’t actually buy. And while the service had gone down for an hour for repairs (just as this writer was writing about the Steam Winter Sale – the irony!), it left parent company Valve with a lot of press relations issues on its hand.

According to Valve, it was a “configuration change” on its end that caused the “rogue” caching, speeding up the Steam client and making account credentials show up where it shouldn’t – on another person’s account. And while credit card numbers and other sensitive information remained censored per policy, that didn’t stop Steam users from growing uneasy and taking the company – and its Steam store – to task on online forums and social media. To put it in the immortal words of the Comic Book Guy, “rest assured I was on the Internet within minutes, registering my disgust throughout the world.”

“Steam is back up and running without any known issues,” said Valve in a statement it prepared for several tech and gaming publications. “As a result of a configuration change earlier today, a caching issue allowed some users to randomly see pages generated for other users for a period of less than an hour. This issue has since been resolved. We believe no unauthorized actions were allowed on accounts beyond the viewing of cached page information and no additional action is required by users.”

Now that the caching error has been fixed and you might be interested in taking advantage of the Steam Winter Sale once again, where do you go from here? As everything appears back to normal, it might be a good idea to change your password. On the other hand, those who are still concerned can remove their payment information for the meantime. Steam’s Winter Sale runs through January 4, so there’s no hurry anyway to make any purchase — as long as the deal isn’t under time constraints.