The store that kept on giving

November, 2022 · 5 min read

Minutes before midnight, something started happening. If you purchased games from a specific store, you’d get new copies every few minutes. By morning, the store had erroneously sent out 150,000 USD worth of Steam keys. The cause was poor software: a quick-and-dirty solution created the conditions, and a silly function acted as the trigger.

This is a detailed recollection of what happened.

A shiny brand-new store

In 2017, I worked for a video game publisher. Following a successful year, we planned to go big on our e-commerce by launching a new store. It had to be ready by summer.

To realize our plan, an agency would build it using Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC). SFCC is a proprietary, enterprise-grade e-commerce platform built using Java. As its name suggests, it runs entirely on the cloud. A selling point is that you can write custom backend logic in JavaScript when calling classes such as Customer, Product, and OrderMgr. This is made possible by Rhino, an engine that compiles server-side JavaScript to Java.

However, most of the “JavaScript” is Demandware Script, a proprietary language based on the abandoned ECMAScript 4. While rhinos are cool, the actual engine’s the polar opposite of “blazing fast.” And it still doesn’t support ES2015, even in 2022.

One of many cartoons on SFCC’s homepage.
One of many cartoons on SFCC’s homepage.

From the outset, as the name SFCC also suggests, it was clear we had stepped into a world catered to non-technical businesses: a homepage laden with buzzwords and cartoons, documentation behind customer login, and close to no hits across popular developer communities (including when searching for Demandware, its name before acquisition).

How Steam keys were sent out

The flow of sending out Steam keys was a simple one:

  • Orders are created
  • On successful payments, our provider Adyen sends notifications to a webhook endpoint
  • A cron job runs every 5 minutes, processing notifications
  • Each notification is matched against an order
  • For each matched order, an API is called to send out Steam keys

Rolling your own rollover

There’s a catch: not all notifications get processed. If their matched order is fresher than X minutes, the cron job defers processing until the next run. (I believe it’s intended to minimize race conditions.)

How would you implement this logic? Do it at the query level, joining notifications with orders? Get the Unix time of an order, add X * 60, and compare it with the current time? Look into whatever methods Date might provide us to add X minutes?

Neither. We’ll deconstruct the order’s Date into year, month, day, hour, and minute. We’ll then add X minutes, handle the rollovers ourselves, and stitch them together to create a Date object. What could go wrong?

function createDelayOrderDate(orderCreateDate : Date)
    var year = orderCreateDate.getUTCFullYear();
    var month = orderCreateDate.getUTCMonth() + 1;
    var day = orderCreateDate.getUTCDate();
    var hours = orderCreateDate.getUTCHours();
    var mins = orderCreateDate.getUTCMinutes();

    var adyenDelayMin : Number = 1;
    if (!empty(dw.system.Site.getCurrent().getCustomPreferenceValue("AdyenNotificationDelayMinutes"))) {
        adyenDelayMin = dw.system.Site.getCurrent().getCustomPreferenceValue("AdyenNotificationDelayMinutes");
    var delayMins : dw.util.BigInteger = dw.util.BigInteger(adyenDelayMin);
    var hoursDelay : dw.util.BigInteger = delayMins.divide(60);
    var hoursDelayNumber = hoursDelay.get();

    var resultDelayMins : Number = 0;
    var resultMonthDelay : Number = 0;
    var resultHoursDelay : Number = 0;
    var resultDayDelays : Number = 0;
    var resultYearDelay : Number = 0;

    if (hoursDelayNumber == 0) {
        resultDelayMins = mins + delayMins.get();
    } else {
        resultDelayMins = mins + (delayMins - (hoursDelayNumber * 60));

    if (resultDelayMins >= 60) {
        resultDelayMins = resultDelayMins - 60;

    if ((hours + hoursDelayNumber) >= 24) {
        resultDayDelays = 1;
        resultHoursDelay = (hours + hoursDelayNumber) - 24;
    } else {
        resultHoursDelay = hours + hoursDelayNumber;

    if ((day + resultDayDelays) > 31) {
        resultMonthDelay = 1;
        resultDayDelays = (day + resultDayDelays) - 31;
    } else {
        resultDayDelays = day + resultDayDelays;

    if ((month + resultMonthDelay) > 12) {
        resultYearDelay = year + 1;
        resultMonthDelay = (month + resultMonthDelay) - 12;
    } else {
        resultMonthDelay = month + resultMonthDelay;
        resultYearDelay = year;

    var newDateString : String = resultYearDelay + "-" + pad(resultMonthDelay) + "-" + pad(resultDayDelays) + " " + pad(resultHoursDelay) + ":"
        + pad(resultDelayMins) + ":" + pad( orderCreateDate.getUTCSeconds() );
    var cal  = new dw.util.Calendar();
    Logger.getLogger("Adyen", "adyen").debug("order delay timestring " + newDateString);
    cal.parseByFormat(newDateString, "yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss");
    var newDate = cal.time;
    return newDate;

function pad ( num : Number ) {
    if ( num < 10 ) {
        return '0' + num;
    return num;
From Adyen’s open-source Salesforce Commerce Cloud plugin back in 2017.

The code from Adyen’s plugin assumed months always have 31 days. It contained off-by-one bugs: hour 24 was possible, and as was minute 60. You could end up with something as wild as 2022-02-31 24:60:59.

A hacky solution

That fateful summer night, a customer made a purchase at 23:58. This crashed the cron job as the script tried parsing 24:01 using dw.util.Calendar(). But how did this cause the next customers to repeatedly get Steam keys?

The agency implemented the functionality of sending out keys by making direct changes to Adyen’s plugin. While it’s bad practice, it’s a convenient approach: it’s easy, and you don’t need to understand SFCC in depth.

As it turned out, the same loop that processes a notification doesn’t remove it — all notifications are processed first. If any notification causes a crash, the cron job doesn’t delete any of them. Additionally, by not specifying a sorting order, the job looped through the newest notifications first.

function execute(pdict) {
    return PIPELET_NEXT;

function processNotifications(pdict) {
    var searchQuery = CustomObjectMgr.queryCustomObjects(
        "custom.updateStatus = 'PROCESS'",
    while (searchQuery.hasNext()) {
        customObj =;
        Transaction.wrap(function () {
              The following method calls createDelayOrderDate(). Custom code
              that sends out Steam keys was also added inside this method.
            handlerResult = objectsHandler.handle(customObj);
An excerpt of what the cron job ran.

As orders came in throughout the night, the cron job processed more and more notifications before reaching the crashing one. Every five minutes, customers who purchased after 23:58 received new keys.

In Adyen’s defense, their plugin does have a failsafe in setting a property flag when looping through notifications. But since I neither have a copy of the modified plugin nor have access to SFCC’s runtime, I don’t know why it didn’t kick in. My best guess is that all the previous notifications’ flags got rolled back once the crash occurred.

The morning after

Arriving at work, I began investigating why a customer who’d made a purchase before midnight still hadn’t received their Steam keys. Soon afterward, I realized what had happened. We reached out to the agency and started revoking Steam keys.

We were lucky. Had this incident occurred during a large weekend sale, it’s not hard to imagine it being 50 times worse. Most importantly, none of the customers appeared to have resold any keys. Similar to profiting off stolen credit cards, bad actors could’ve taken advantage by offloading soon-to-be revoked keys.

While many things can be said — piggybacking on Adyen’s plugin, the rollover logic, the necessity of the cron job to begin with — it was a mistake not to set and check a flag specifically tied to calling the API. On the API side, an idempotency key might’ve also helped. But unless you base it on order ID, each run would’ve likely just generated new keys considering how everything else was implemented.

As customers, we encounter bugs from time to time. Whenever I do, I think back to this and wonder if something as silly had triggered them.