Valve announces Steam Guard security system

According to Valve boss Game Newell, the top issue dealt with by Steam support staff is account hijacking. Whether the threat is scurrilous blackguards hacking passwords or nefarious scoundrels tricking users into giving up account details, a service as integral to the gaming infrastructure as Steam can't afford to skimp on security. As the platform grows ever more ubiquitous, Valve has bumped up the tightness of their account access with the unveiling of a new guard system for Steam, plainly enough titled Steam Guard.

Above: Purchases like Portal 2 will be more secure for accounts behind Steam Guard

With the launch of Steam Guard, enabled by Intel's imminent 2nd-Generation CoreT processors, account management will be physically linked to a single PC. Anyone on another machine who tries to access or alter your details will have to get your approval first, which is tied to a constantly-updated passcode generated by the processor. If that sounds like a lot to get your head around, rest assured that most hackers – a suspicious and cowardly lot, lest we forget – ought to have similar problems.

Above: Just two of the products not to purchase if you want to enjoy Steam Guard's protection

Users wanting to beef up their Steam security should beware they don't end up with the wrong Steam Guard. Valve's Steam Guard does not provide vaporized sinus cleansing (unlike the Vicks Steam Guard); neither does it sterilize microwave ovens (unlike the Munchkin Steam Guard). Hell, just leave it to Valve to bring the service to you. The company currently provides the service for third parties to incorporate into their Steam apps, reducing Friend Code-esque and user-end headaches altogether. Thank Gabe for that, eh?

Mar 3, 2011

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  • CongratulagentAgentTHEAgentAntista - March 4, 2011 1:57 a.m.

    So...Steam Guard only works with the new Intel Processors?
  • SecretGingerWizard - March 4, 2011 2:03 a.m.

    I'm having the same question
  • Redeater - March 4, 2011 2:10 a.m.

    Clarity please.....
  • Sensationo - March 4, 2011 2:13 a.m.

    Game? Gabe? Mayabe?
  • RebornKusabi - March 4, 2011 2:14 a.m.

    It looks like it's saying that the server that houses this technology is running that Intel processor.
  • Redeater - March 4, 2011 2:24 a.m.

    Sorry for the double post but is there any word on how the approval will work?
  • Oeufs - March 4, 2011 2:32 a.m.

    The new Sandy Bridge processors to be released will have hardware authentication algorithms much like the Blizzard Authenticator that you can register with VeriSign and other security applications to use for Gmail and Paypal. More information from a security pro: Begins on page 7 Security Now (Ep. 288) from with Steve Gibson
  • Wink95 - March 4, 2011 7:30 a.m.

    What if you're getting a new PC or something?
  • Unoriginal - March 4, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    @Wink95 Yeah, and what if your old one chrashes? Captcha: nothatin' life
  • Oeufs - March 4, 2011 8 a.m.

    I believe that when you purchase the processor or a computer with the processor you receive a code. You then log on to a website, like VeriSign, that allows websites to integrate the code into their login systems. For Steam, it only allows you to access content on computers with Sandy Bridge codes, if you have it on. But it would still be tied to an account somewhere so you could retrieve/change the information. The best part of this, however, is that eventually all you will need to log on to initialized websites is the power button on your computer.
  • rubblemaker - March 4, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    Wasn't the whole point of STEAM that you could access any of your games anywhere from any PC by logging into STEAM? Thats its USP up the spout then.
  • BadLadJon - March 4, 2011 3:47 p.m.

    Episode 3 now?
  • Sharkbot - March 4, 2011 4:07 p.m.

    What if I have 2 computers that I use my steam account from?
  • adox2525 - March 4, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    The second product is not for sterilizing microwave ovens lol, it's for sterilizing the baby milk bottles visible inside, u microwave the water in the base to steam sterilize the baby bottles. Hence "munchkin"
  • nadrewod - March 5, 2011 6 a.m.

    @Sharkbot, Then you will just set up Steam Guard on one, get the code from it, and input it on the other one (they made it open to multiple device use for a reason).
  • daedstarr - May 18, 2011 9:23 p.m.

    Well, this was an epic fail. The game has already been cracked and runs on Steam. Not to mention I still don't know why companies like Steam and EA are constantly spending loads of money on security when pirates crack it every single time. These companies are actually loosing more money on their security spending then they are on the actual pirated games. So, the only thing they accomplish is making things harder for us people who actually buy the games and then have to go through numerous codes and verifications just to play the game we paid for. EPIC FAIL VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY.

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