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Valve awards $20.000 US to hacker for disclosing game key hack

The hack gave access to previously generated CD keys for any game on the platform

by
Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 13:20 GMT
Valve awards $20.000 US to hacker for disclosing game key hack
Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 13:20 GMT

Valve has awarded $20.000 US to hacker Artem Moskowsky for disclosing a game key hack. The hack gave Moskowsky access to previously generated CD keys for any game on the platform.


The security hole that Moskowsky discovered and exploited for a proof of concept was part of Steam's developer tools. It provided unlimited access to all previously generated CD keys for games on the platform, including those not activated yet.

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To show the severity of the security hole, the hacker created a proof of concept that gave him access to roughly 36.000 game keys for Valve's Portal 2.

If knowledge about the security hole fell into the wrong hands, the exploit could have had more severe consequences. That being said, Valve's continuous logging of the Steam platform would have likely triggered internal alarms.

The hack was reported to Valve on August 7, 2018, and was publicly disclosed on October 31, 2018.
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About the author

Raymond Bakker
Journalist and Software Developer at Moonlight Multimedia. He covers the latest video games news from indie to virtual reality and has been actively involved in the video games industry since the early 2000s.
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