Hack Attack Hits Steam

Jonathan Bernstein crisis management, Crisis Response, PR, public relations, reputation management Leave a Comment

Data Grabs the New B&E?

The latest victim of a high profile hack attack is Valve Software’s Steam platform. Steam is used to digitally distribute over 1,000 of the most popular games online, which obviously means its databases hold a large amount of sensitive information such as names, addresses, passwords and credit card numbers.

Valve started its crisis management off right by immediately announcing both the fact that the attack had occurred and outlining the scope of the hacker’s take, as well as reassurances that there was no evidence of credit card information actually being unencrypted and a promise to investigate further, and, as the following quote from a Forbes article by Daniel Nye Griffiths explains, Steam shouldn’t be hurt much by the incident:

With Electronic Arts pushing their own download service, Origin, hard, this could have come at a better time for Steam. However, as the story stands at the moment it is wholly survivable. When the PlayStation Network was hack in April, there was much anger, but in the end the value provided by PSN was sufficiently great that by June network activity was back to 90% of pre-hack levels. As long as Steam is contrite, service is not badly disrupted and the consequences are not unexpectedly severe, this should be a manageable crisis.

Steam, as with the Playstation Network, is in a strong position to bounce back from crises due to having a rabid fan base that is extremely reliant on the services provided. For companies like these, alienating customers through a change of service or culture would be far more damaging than anything a hacker could do.

The BCM Blogging Team

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