It’s not a fake. It’s probably on bittorrent everywhere by now. Valve’s Gabe Newell made a statement on their messageboards explaining how it happened. It’s a typical tale of corporate security. They have something extremely valuable on their network, and all it takes to hack in is to get the clear text passwords of a webmail account, and customizing an existing trojan.
Everyone needs to learn that having a virus scanner isn’t enough to protect you from a direct attack. With the amount of bugs in Internet Explorer, Outlook and Outlook Express that are still unfixed, using them in an environment like this is plain crazy. And putting any business mail on a webmail account is a stupid, stupid thing to do. And yet I know that it’s the most common thing in the world, at least in every games company I know.
Here’s the full text of the statement:
Ever have one of those weeks? This has just not been the best couple of days for me or for Valve.
Yes, the source code that has been posted is the HL-2 source code.
Here is what we know:
1) Starting around 9/11 of this year, someone other than me was accessing my email account. This has been determined by looking at traffic on our email server versus my travel schedule.
2) Shortly afterwards my machine started acting weird (right-clicking on executables would crash explorer). I was unable to find a virus or trojan on my machine, I reformatted my hard drive, and reinstalled.
3) For the next week, there appears to have been suspicious activity on my webmail account.
4) Around 9/19 someone made a copy of the HL-2 source tree.
5) At some point, keystroke recorders got installed on several machines at Valve. Our speculation is that these were done via a buffer overflow in Outlook's preview pane. This recorder is apparently a customized version of RemoteAnywhere created to infect Valve (at least it hasn't been seen anywhere else, and isn't detected by normal virus scanning tools).
6) Periodically for the last year we've been the subject of a variety of denial of service attacks targetted at our webservers and at Steam. We don't know if these are related or independent.
Well, this sucks.
What I'd appreciate is the assistance of the community in tracking this down. I have a special email address for people to send information to, email@example.com. If you have information about the denial of service attacks or the infiltration of our network, please send the details. There are some pretty obvious places to start with the posts and records in IRC, so if you can point us in the right direction, that would be great.
We at Valve have always thought of ourselves as being part of a community, and I can't imagine a better group of people to help us take care of these problems than this community.