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Valve Announces Steam Guard

Valve Corporation announces a new Steamworks feature called Steam Guard, which sounds like a deodorant or an account security feature. It turns out to be the latter, as they say this "allows users to link management of their account to a specific PC. Attempts to modify or change account settings by any other PC won't be possible without the user's approval." They say Steam Guard, which will be available to third-party developers, will also support Intel's upcoming Identity Protection Technology, a hardware encryption scheme for 2nd Generation Intel Core CPUS that replaces the need for an external key generator. "Account phishing and hijacking are our #1 support issues," said Gabe Newell, President of Valve. "With Intel's IPT and Steam Guard, we've taken a big step towards giving customers the account security they need as they purchase more and more digital goods." As an aside, this is the first time we've seen Gabe referred to as Valve's President, as his title has always been Managing Director. We've inquired about this fairly unimportant distinction, but have yet to receive a reply.

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44. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 23:35 Prez
 
Bumpy wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 14:14:
El Pit wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 13:26:
Wow, this is soooo much better than announcing "Half-Life 2: Episode 3" or even "Half-Life 3". Thank you, Valve! Thank you very, very much.

Indeed. Valve is pretty much just a Steam service now.

Ain't that the truth. It's been a loooong time since I was excited by a Valve press release. At least there's Portal 2.
 
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43. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 19:41 Dev
 
"third party" access? Sounds more like an attempt to let worse DRM through steam make sure you only install on 1 machine.

I like steam how it is, I can install it on as many computers as I like, I just can only be logged into 1 at once. I've got email verified and I have my physical copies of old games like HL1 if I need my account recovered.

IDT sounds like another name for TPM, which didn't go anywhere, and I wouldn't want to use it anyway.

JoeNapalm wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 16:28:
, and while Valve hasn't done anything to me to deserve that kind of suspicion (yet)
How about all the lies and broken promises with the L4D series? Thats what did it for me.

This comment was edited on Mar 3, 2011, 19:47.
 
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42. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 19:07 Darks
 
Zyrxil,

Ok, letís hear you expert opinion about someone who uses a laptop and that laptop gets stolen or misplaced? Yea your account is locked down to that laptop and now someone has full access that account. Sorry, but a key fob is ten times more secure. Plus you can use it anywhere you like unlike someone trying to login on your pc at work and make a change. The idea of using hardware as a lockdown is stupid. This only benefits the manufactures and Valve along with the publishers to put that noose around your neck even tighter for DRM. No thanks! And Iím not stupid enough to allow my account to be hacked, those that do get hacked are the morons that get virus and spam from going places they shouldnít have gone in the first place that got them hacked.
 
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41. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 18:23 Verno
 
Sepharo wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 18:15:
When I log on to my various bank and loan accounts they know if I'm accessing from a different computer because I get a notification and then asked whether I want to register the current computer with my account.

Dunno if that's really giving me any sort of extra protection but it does happen.

That's a cookie they set with your IP, it's more of a precaution to make sure you remember that you're sitting on public wi-fi, netcafe, etc.
 
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40. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 18:15 Sepharo
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 16:28:
Jesus, does no one here do online banking? Banks already do this kind of hardware lock, in addition to key fobs. The benefit is less accounts stolen, which means less headaches for both customers and customer support.

I do online banking from no less than four computers, never had a hardware lock or a key fob.

When I log on to my various bank and loan accounts they know if I'm accessing from a different computer because I get a notification and then asked whether I want to register the current computer with my account.

Dunno if that's really giving me any sort of extra protection but it does happen.
 
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39. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 16:28 JoeNapalm
 

I'm going to wait to hear more about this before I make up my mind.

On one hand, this sounds a lot like the authorities coming around and saying "Hey, there's been a lot of break ins around here, we're going to put all new locks on your doors, free of charge" and everyone going nuts and shouting "OH MY GOD! You're going to lock us in and burn the house down, aren't you?! AREN'T YOU!?!?"

Kind of paranoid...

On the other hand...some parts of that article do have the faint scent of an accelerant, and while Valve hasn't done anything to me to deserve that kind of suspicion (yet), some of the people they hang out with are @#$%ing pyros (in terms of the analogy (though I think some of them really are pyromanics, too...I'm look at you Ubi)).

-Jn-
Ifriti Sophist
 
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38. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 16:28 Beamer
 
Jesus, does no one here do online banking? Banks already do this kind of hardware lock, in addition to key fobs. The benefit is less accounts stolen, which means less headaches for both customers and customer support.

I do online banking from no less than four computers, never had a hardware lock or a key fob.
My point is that, if it can be changed by the user, that may imply a password. If it's via password it's really no added security as most people use the same password for everything, so phishing a Steam account gives email access. If it's not via password then Valve needs to set up a call center dedicated to fielding calls whenever people switch PCs, which sounds both part complicated and time consuming.
 
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37. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 16:11 Zyrxil
 
Creston wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 15:46:
They say Steam Guard, which will be available to third-party developers, will also support Intel's upcoming Identity Protection Technology, a hardware encryption scheme for 2nd Generation Intel Core CPUS that replaces the need for an external key generator.

This part, however, does read like it would/could tie your game to one PC and one PC only.

The publisher's wet dream.

Creston
The "external key generator" is a key fob, ala banks and WoW.


Darks wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 15:51:
This has to be about the worst idea ever, I would rather they give me a token to lock down my account with like WOW uses rather then tie my account to a CPU. Absolutely stupid, so what happens when that CPU goes bad or you change it out and then try to access your account. And are now locked out because the hardware has changed? I guess pled and beg Valve to fix it, which who knows how long that will take. No thank you! I donít need this type of BS intrusion locked down on my account.
This is easily the most retarded response to this news release. What happens if you lose your bank or WoW key fob? Yeah, you have to go through some annoying shit. Same as if you got your account hacked, except the whole point is that having the key fob makes the whole situation less likely. Now they're doing key fob type security without the cost of having to mail a fob to every one of their customers.
BTW Gabe, if you donít like fixing people accounts then get out of the business, this is part of the business model whether you like it or not.
BTW, if you like not having a security feature, then don't complain when you get hacked and it takes a week to get everything back to normal.

Beamer wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 15:59:
I actually fail to see what this does, period, or what benefit any of the 3 groups involved (valve, devs, users) get.
Jesus, does no one here do online banking? Banks already do this kind of hardware lock, in addition to key fobs. The benefit is less accounts stolen, which means less headaches for both customers and customer support.
 
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36. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 15:59 Beamer
 
Darks wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 15:51:
And are now locked out because the hardware has changed?
Attempts to modify or change account settings by any other PC won't be possible without the user's approval.

So, while we don't know what that means (sounds like a password, which honestly, how does this change a damn thing), it doesn't sound like it.

I actually fail to see what this does, period, or what benefit any of the 3 groups involved (valve, devs, users) get.
 
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35. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 15:51 Darks
 
This has to be about the worst idea ever, I would rather they give me a token to lock down my account with like WOW uses rather then tie my account to a CPU. Absolutely stupid, so what happens when that CPU goes bad or you change it out and then try to access your account. And are now locked out because the hardware has changed? I guess pled and beg Valve to fix it, which who knows how long that will take. No thank you! I donít need this type of BS intrusion locked down on my account.

BTW Gabe, if you donít like fixing people accounts then get out of the business, this is part of the business model whether you like it or not.
 
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34. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 15:46 Creston
 
They say Steam Guard, which will be available to third-party developers, will also support Intel's upcoming Identity Protection Technology, a hardware encryption scheme for 2nd Generation Intel Core CPUS that replaces the need for an external key generator.

This part, however, does read like it would/could tie your game to one PC and one PC only.

The publisher's wet dream.

Creston
 
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33. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 15:43 Creston
 
KilrathiAce wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 14:13:
As long as this is optional, then thats cool, Valve needs to realize some people travel and often use more than 1 pc with their steam account, especially for smaller indie games.

It's just for making CHANGES to your Steam account. You can run your account from a thousand different PCs, but you can only change your pw (for example), from one of them.

Creston
 
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32. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 15:42 El Pit
 
MattyC wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 15:34:
Um if you missed it they have already said they are working on the next Portal.

Oh, really. They're already working on Portal 3? Great. Now - WHAT ABOUT "Half-Life 2: Episode 3"?! I liked the first Portal, but it really annoys me to see them pushing new Left 4 Dead and Portal games out of the door, with H-L: E3 going AWOL.
 
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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31. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 15:34 MattyC
 
Bumpy wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 14:14:
El Pit wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 13:26:
Wow, this is soooo much better than announcing "Half-Life 2: Episode 3" or even "Half-Life 3". Thank you, Valve! Thank you very, very much.

Indeed. Valve is pretty much just a Steam service now.

Um if you missed it they have already said they are working on the next Portal.
 
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30. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 15:25 Zyrxil
 
DangerDog wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 14:29:
Sounds to me like it could also be implemented into some form of extra DRM in the name of "Identity Protection". Imagine the next Activision Call of Duty that implements this system, no need for CD-Keys as the game is locked to your PC hardware.

You know what that's called? Securom. It's been doing that for more than 4 years, FFS. It locks to hardware, and still has CD-keys.
 
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29. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 15:14 KilrathiAce
 
Valve needs to let us have more than 1 email account tied to the steam account. We need ability to have secondary email account in case something happens to primary. Currently, if your email account gets closed thats tied to steam, you lose your steam account.  
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28. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 14:55 TurdFergasun
 
aphistic wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 14:35:

Hang on, let me get your tin foil hat for you...

Reducing the number of support requests for their #1 support issue is worth "all the attention and effort this project seems to have behind it" solely due to the cost savings of not having to support that issue as much any more. They have millions of users, if a small percentage of those open support tickets for account security issues, that translates into big bucks.

doesn't change the fact that it can be used as a tool against us as easily as it can clear up some issues for valve. go back to your freedom fries.

This comment was edited on Mar 3, 2011, 15:01.
 
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27. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 14:52 DG
 
aphistic wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 14:35:
Hang on, let me get your tin foil hat for you...
It is strange that they stated that it could be used by 3rd parties if their only goal is for optional Steam account security for the benefit of the account holder.
What relevance is there for 3rd parties?



SpectralMeat wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 13:54:
They can do the same thing apple does with Itunes. You can log into your account management and reset the activated computers.

Limit the amount of resets to 2-3 times a year or whatever, if need more resets you have to contact support.
You are screwed by the first reset that isn't you. The limit to 2-3 isn't doing you any favours.
 
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26. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 14:49 SpectralMeat
 
necrosis wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 14:32:
SpectralMeat wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 13:54:
Hyatus wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 13:23:
Also, I'm kind of curious what happens when a PC dies and you can no longer log into it.

They can do the same thing apple does with Itunes. You can log into your account management and reset the activated computers.

Limit the amount of resets to 2-3 times a year or whatever, if need more resets you have to contact support.
5 machines can be active and you get 1 reset a year.

I know I use Itunes also and had to reset a few times already but I just brought that example up as a general idea of how they can avoid the issues with only 1 computer activated/authorized and that computer becomes unusable.
 
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25. Re: Valve Announces Steam Guard Mar 3, 2011, 14:40 StaTik
 
DangerDog wrote on Mar 3, 2011, 14:29:

Sounds to me like it could also be implemented into some form of extra DRM in the name of wrote on Identity Protection". Imagine the next Activision Call of Duty that implements this system, no need for CD-Keys as the game is locked to your PC hardware. [/quote:


I'm with you Danger. These big business, big money companies (Intel, Valve, and "3rd party devs") are not doing jack for our own protection with this kind of R&D investment. This has been pitched behind closed doors as a way to put a stop to used games and a piracy deterrent.
 
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