An expert in computer security, called Artem Moskowsky, found a bug in the online game platform Steam that allowed anyone to download games for free. The bug allowed users to generate license keys (used to activate and download games) in an unlimited manner.
“The discoverer of the ruling received a reward of $ 20,000 for reporting the ruling he found on Steam.”
This failure could have been a huge headache for Valve, the company that owns Steam. Valve gets most of its income through the sale of games on Steam, so the possibility of being acquired for free enters the worst scenarios of the company, which also makes great efforts against piracy.
The bug consisted of a failure in the system that allows the studios that develop video games to generate keys for their software so that they can deliver copies to fans, journalists, media, etc … The researcher discovered that by modifying this system, any user could get thousands of licenses for any game, so that they could then have been sold illegally.
Artem Moskowsky has not revealed how he managed to circumvent exactly the security of the company, but reported that he could do it “modifying a single parameter”. The researcher informed Valve of the bug and was rewarded with $ 20,000, 5,000 of which are a bonus for not having made the discovery public.
The ruling has been fixed, and Valve have reported that according to the investigation carried out after the discovery of the error, no user has downloaded games fraudulently with this method.