16-Year-Old Hacker Sneaks Game Onto Steam Without Valve’s Approval

A 16 year old hacker recently found way to put a game on Steam directly without Valve’s approval. Valve generally curates the Steam service and looks into what should be available and what not in the store.

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People were shocked to see the game, Watch Paint Dry in the store and complained that Steam’s quality control over Greenlight games had gone down the drain.

However, the game was made in RPG maker and was never on Greenlight. The kid named Ruby Nealon, made the 45- second long game only to showcase the exploit and get the attention of Valve.

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He wasn’t very proud of the game either.

I’m going to cut out the part where I made the 45-second long paint drying simulator in RPG Maker as I’m not particularly proud of it and it’s not relevant.

Ruby got access to the publishing platform for Steam games, Steamworks and created Watch Paint Dry. He then searched for exploits until he found one which let him be seen as a Valve staff member.

After making adjustments to the code, he was able to pass the game onto Steam. He planned to release the game on April 1, but the game released early unexpectedly. The game didn’t need an approval from Valve or had a Valve review and price.

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I will admit that it appearing straight away in the new releases section was an oversight on my part. I initially wanted it to have “Coming April 1st” and not show up until Friday (though I wouldn’t have expected it to last that long). I will also admit I was very tempted to try and see how far along releasing it I could get, but I think it’s for the best that the app is not listed for sale.

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The main intention of the kid was to show Valve how such a big website could be hacked without much effort. The issue has now been patched by Valve and it is high time for them to check if they are vulnerable to other such exploits.

I have been in contact with Valve who have now fixed the vulnerability. I was responsible for Watch paint dry. Getting caught was part of my plan.

Kids being geniuses isn’t a new thing but this must be an eye opener for Valve.