Naturally, immediately after I gave up on them (and after they changed my unanswered support ticket to “Resolved” for the fourth time) Steam finally replied to me. It took them nearly 60 hours but they replied. Their first reply was less than impressive:
Thank you for contacting Steam Support.
There has been no security breach of Steam.
Please refer to the following Forum post for more information.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
There might be helpful information in this announcement, but I won’t know for another 6 days. Here’s my reply to them:
As you’ll note from my prior description and convenient screenshot, I’ve been banned from the forums. Thus this link does not help me.
2 hours later they replied again:
I apologize but I will be unable to lift the ban for your forum account.
There has been no security breach of Steam. The alleged hacker gained access to a third party site that Valve uses to manage the commercial partners in its cyber cafe program. This cyber cafe billing system is not connected to Steam.
We are working with law enforcement agencies on this matter, and encourage anyone with more information to email us at Catch_A_Thief@valvesoftware.com.
I’d used the forums for the first time yesterday to simply acquire the information Valve finally provided me in this support ticket update, over 60 hours after my initial question. The words of my infuriatingly rational girlfriend, and of one of my readers, Mick, rang in my ears as I pondered what to write in reply:
Thank you for the clarification. That’s all I ever wanted.
I don’t know whether my support tickets were flagged “Resolved” by some automated means. If this was the case then I apologize for my impatience. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that the risk of identity theft has affected me.
Regardless, I hope Valve will consider making a public statement much sooner the next time something like this happens.
Thank you for your assistance. Perhaps I can trust Steam again in the future.
So in the end I’m torn. It’s too soon to make up my mind, I figure, on whether Steam is trustworthy. Their support certainly leaves much to be desired. Time will tell whether their credit card databases were breached. Until then I’ll continue keeping an eye on my account.
Was I justified in my anger? I think I was, but I’m my own worst influence so I can’t really trust my own opinion.
Is Steam trustworthy? Maybe. Probably. It’s a unique service with a very limited catalogue of games, but the games they feature are difficult to obtain by other means. I think I still trust Steam more than, say eBay, but that ain’t saying much. Am I a hypocrite if I continue buying from them? Do I need to concern myself with that?
Regardless, I’m a little relieved to hear Steam proclaim there was no security breach. I don’t entirely believe them at this point but my currently unmolested credit card account corroborates their story as of now.
More on this in the future, perhaps. Finally I agree, for the first of 5 times, that my support ticket is resolved.