It appears that Valve are finally opening up about the Steam Christmas security breach. Emails have apparently been sent to users whose accounts may have been exposed to the problems on Christmas day.
The news about the emails was reported by Kotaku who have provided the full text from the email. This goes into detail about what happened with the Steam Christmas security breach and what to do if you believe your account was compromised by other users:
“Dear Steam User,
As you may know, for a brief period on December 25th, a configuration error resulted in some Steam users seeing incorrectly cached Steam Store pages generated for other Steam users. If you are not familiar with the issue, an overview of what happened is available at http://store.steampowered.com/news/19852/.
If you accessed the Steam Store between 11:50 PST and 13:20 PST on December 25th, your account could have been affected by this issue. If you did not use the Steam Store during that time, your account was not affected.
Between the times above, a requested web page for information about your Steam account may have been incorrectly displayed to another Steam user in your local area. This page may have included your email address, country, purchase history and last 4 digits of your phone number if one was associated with your account. It may have also included the last two digits of a credit card number or a PayPal email address, if previously saved for future purchases. It did not include full credit card numbers, Steam account passwords, or other information that would allow another user to complete a transaction with your billing information.
We are contacting you because an IP address previously used by your account to access Steam made a web page request as described above. Because IP addresses are commonly shared for home networks, mobile devices and by internet providers, we are unable to verify that your account was actually the one that made this request. For example one affected IP address was previously used by over 1,700 Steam accounts. Consequently we are notifying all users who have previously used this IP address.
This event did not make it possible to compromise your Steam account or make a fraudulent transaction from your account, but we want you to be aware of what information could have been seen by another Steam user.
We’re sorry this happened and have taken steps to prevent this problem from occurring in the future.
If you used the store between 11:50 PST and 13:20 PST on December 25th and you have questions please firstname.lastname@example.org.
It does seem a little late to contact Steam users three months after the fact, but at least the details have now been revealed. It is still questionable why it took so long though.
What are your thoughts on the Steam Christmas security breach? Should Valve have reached out to users earlier? Let us know in the comments section below.