On Christmas day, several people were surprised after they were logged into the accounts of other Steam users.
According to the online digital distribution platform, the problem was caused by a caching issue.
According to Kotaku, the problem affected users from various regions. And, while they were logged in to other people's accounts, users were able to see the strangers' personal details such as email addresses and purchasing history.
Fortunately, immediately after the problem was reported, Steam immediately closed its online store to prevent users from accessing other people's online details. Then, a few hours later, Steam announced that the issue has been resolved.
The site also noted that no reports of data theft or unauthorized access have been made.
"Steam is back up and running without any issues," a representative from Steam said in a press release according to Gamespot. "As a result of a configuration changer earlier today, a caching issue allowed some users to randomly see pages generated for other users for a period of less than an hour."
"This issue has since been resolved," the spokesperson added. "We believe no unauthorized actions were allowed on accounts beyond the viewing of cached page information and no additional action is required by users."
Initially, various sources thought the problem may be related to a hacking incident. But since there were no reports of data breaches, it seems the issue was purely a technical one.
But, even though the problem has been fixed, it is still a bit worrying especially since Steam recently admitted that a total of 77,000 of its user accounts get hacked every month.
According to the company, hackers would often illegally access other people's accounts in order to steam various items from them. They would then sell or trade these stolen items months after the hack to avoid being detected.
As a solution, Steam implemented several security measures including the two-factor authentication process to protect the accounts of its users. Through this method, users will have to log in their details on separate devices in order to access their accounts.
"Two-factor authorization is the use of a separate device to confirm your identity," the company wrote in a blog post. "The security of this system is based on that step from your PC to a device a hacker can't access, such as your smartphone."
"PCs can be easily compromised, therefore a PC-based authenticator would not provide better security that a password or email authentication," Steam added.