Half-Life 2 Source Code Stolen

October 2 2003

I did't believe this when I heard the rumors, but this is straight from Gabe Newell, founder and President of 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, helpvalve@valvesoftware.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.


All I can say is that I hope they catch this person and that person spends the rest of their life doing public service. This effects hundreds of people and their jobs and livelyhood. How sad. Please, if you see the Half-Life 2 source code on then net, do not download or interact with it. Report it to the email above.