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Steam Guard Beta

Valve's just announced Steam Guard system is now in beta. Word is: "As a Steam account holder, you can now take advantage of this additional level of account security, further prohibiting others from gaining access to your account. As a beta participant, once you've verified your email address with Steam, Steam Guard becomes available for your use and is enabled for your Steam account by default." To demonstrate the security this provides, Gabe Newell gives out his username and password at Cebit (thanks VG247 via Reddit).

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21 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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21. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 7, 2011, 12:17 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
Verno wrote on Mar 7, 2011, 09:07:
That's what is effectively done already though. You can only sell a Steam account really.

What? Currently you can USE your steam account and all games on any given machine you want, as long as you install Steam and the games, and log in with your account. Selling an account is another matter entirely, and not what anyone was talking about so far.

If your future game(s) are locked to one hardware setup, you CANNOT do multiple machine use, as CoD9 or whatever will be able to be played on one machine, thus the main disadvantage, for the end users, of any sort of hardware security/DRM nonsense.

 
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20. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 7, 2011, 09:07 Verno
 
That's what is effectively done already though. You can only sell a Steam account really.  
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19. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 22:31 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Mar 6, 2011, 21:06:
Did they not patch out the UBI DRM? I thought they've removed all the "always online" shit from the games because it didn't work.
Who knows what the future holds, but I personally don't believe this Steam feature was aimed or even considered to slowly introduce hardware lock games.

We're just kind of going back and forth, glass is half empty/glass is half full at this point, but:

"Steam Guard is available to third parties to incorporate into their own applications through Steamworks."

That's from the initial press release, as I posted before. Obviously it is aimed at hardware locking future games, if the publisher so desires. I can't even see it being up for argument, really.

 
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18. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 21:06 SpectralMeat
 
Did they not patch out the UBI DRM? I thought they've removed all the "always online" shit from the games because it didn't work.
Who knows what the future holds, but I personally don't believe this Steam feature was aimed or even considered to slowly introduce hardware lock games.
 
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17. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 20:40 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Mar 6, 2011, 20:17:
Steam guard is an optional feature. The hardware DRM is only available for people with 2nd gen Intel Core I CPUs. Do you really think that publishers will add a DRM scheme to their games that is not even available on anything but the 2nd gen Intel CPUs? That would be a major waste of time and money.

Lets say they do as you say and lock your games to a single CPU. What if you replace your CPU to a different one? Your games are no longer available to you? I am having a hard time believing this.

You are thinking about today, but what about in a year or more? Do you think AMD won't also release some compatible CPU in the future, if there is even a hint Intel might make some money? I can easily see hardware based DRM systems getting rammed down user throats because of piracy fears in the future.

Hell, look at what they have done in the recent past, with Ubisoft and EA games with constant online requirements, for single player. Does that seem reasonable? Of course not, but they did it anyway.

It's early on, but I am more concerned with the possible misuse of 'features' like this than I am with whatever possible benefits people may get from enhanced security.

The real tragedy will be in a year or two when people are praising CoD9 or Dragon Age 3 or whatever because "it's protected, only my computer can play it, dude!"
 
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16. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 20:17 SpectralMeat
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 6, 2011, 19:24:
SpectralMeat wrote on Mar 6, 2011, 10:07:

So far I have not seen too many features that Steam implemented that would not be beneficial to the users. You guys are speculating too much here with the DRM and all that. All Steam was talking about was implementing this hardware lock to access your account info, not your games. Steam Cloud service and games locked to 1 PC only goes totally against each other so I don't see Steam implement anything like that.
Not to mention Steam Guard is not mandatory, it is a feature if you want it, enable it, if not then carry on.

"Steam Guard is available to third parties to incorporate into their own applications through Steamworks."

That's from Valve's announcement. While yes, Steam Guard may provide added security to people who decide to use it, it is ALSO going to be available for publishers to use as hardware based DRM, and it would defeat the purpose if this aspect of Steam Guard could be opted out of.

What is hard to understand about this?
Steam guard is an optional feature. The hardware DRM is only available for people with 2nd gen Intel Core I CPUs. Do you really think that publishers will add a DRM scheme to their games that is not even available on anything but the 2nd gen Intel CPUs? That would be a major waste of time and money.

Lets say they do as you say and lock your games to a single CPU. What if you replace your CPU to a different one? Your games are no longer available to you? I am having a hard time believing this.
 
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15. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 19:24 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Mar 6, 2011, 10:07:

So far I have not seen too many features that Steam implemented that would not be beneficial to the users. You guys are speculating too much here with the DRM and all that. All Steam was talking about was implementing this hardware lock to access your account info, not your games. Steam Cloud service and games locked to 1 PC only goes totally against each other so I don't see Steam implement anything like that.
Not to mention Steam Guard is not mandatory, it is a feature if you want it, enable it, if not then carry on.

"Steam Guard is available to third parties to incorporate into their own applications through Steamworks."

That's from Valve's announcement. While yes, Steam Guard may provide added security to people who decide to use it, it is ALSO going to be available for publishers to use as hardware based DRM, and it would defeat the purpose if this aspect of Steam Guard could be opted out of.

What is hard to understand about this?
 
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14. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 17:57 jimnms
 
Rockn-Roll wrote on Mar 6, 2011, 12:19:
Wow...Steam is going to have better security than online banking.
One of my banks already does something like this. When you log in, it asks if you want to add "enhanced security" to the PC you're using. If you chose yes, from then on when you log into the site, you only need your username ad password. If you try log in from another computer, you will need to either have it send an email code to you, call you with an automated voice that gives you the code or have it text your cell phone. You need that code and your username and password to log in. After entering it and successfully logging in you have the option to add the "enhanced security" to that system or just use it as a one time log in pass.

I believe it's just a browser cookie or a profile stored in their system though. The cookie expires or it forgets my system from time to time and I have to go through the process to log in.
 
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13. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 13:59 vacs
 
I tried Steam Guard just now and have to say it's an amazing security feature, even more because it's a very simple design and easy to activate/use.

I like the idea of binding one's Steam account to specific PCs. Once installed, you don't even know that's active but if someone graps your password, they can't do anything with it.

It's not that I am paranoiac, it's just to easy to use that no one should try it out and protect one's Steam games investment.
 
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12. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 12:19 Rockn-Roll
 
Wow...Steam is going to have better security than online banking. As I understand it even when it goes live you have a choice to use it or not...enable it if you are just going to be at home then disable it when you want to use a different computer.

If you have it enabled and your computer crashes then that's no different from someone (in this case God) hijacking your account...just contact Steam support and they will fix things.
 
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11. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 10:07 SpectralMeat
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 6, 2011, 09:55:
I understand the stated purpose of cloud computing, and also what it actually boils down to: formerly private data stored elsewhere, under someone else's control.

You do realize you can disable Steam Cloud service right? It is a service for the user if you do not want it then disable it and go on with your life.

The save game files ar still stored on your local computer but they are synced to the Steam server so you can access it from other computers. Again if you prefer the USB stick drive to carry your saved games around then just disable this in your Steam Client.

So far I have not seen too many features that Steam implemented that would not be beneficial to the users. You guys are speculating too much here with the DRM and all that. All Steam was talking about was implementing this hardware lock to access your account info, not your games. Steam Cloud service and games locked to 1 PC only goes totally against each other so I don't see Steam implement anything like that.
Not to mention Steam Guard is not mandatory, it is a feature if you want it, enable it, if not then carry on.
 
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10. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 09:55 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
DarkCntry wrote on Mar 6, 2011, 08:35:
I wasn't talking about it being used as a DRM, I was talking about it being used as a security feature for the users.
Yes, you somehow believe this will only be a benefit to users, and not used in any way to increase control over future games. I believe you are mistaken.

I don't believe you're grasping what I am talking about.

Valve's use of cloud computing is not meant for control, but the ability for someone to access their information on a non-primary system. In other words, I can access my Steam information on a friends computer if I am visiting them.

I understand the stated purpose of cloud computing, and also what it actually boils down to: formerly private data stored elsewhere, under someone else's control.

This doesn't do anything you couldn't do before, with minor effort, aka a floppy disc or CD-R or email, sending/taking game saves/info to another location. Steam already allowed you to log in with your account name at any computer obviously. Does cloud computing make this easier for less tech savvy people? Sure. Is giving up control in any way acceptable for the minor increase in convenience? Not in my opinion.

4) You brought up the main hassle yourself, for most users: how to change to a new hardware group. Is this going to be ridiculously annoying? Probably.

Based on Valve's previous changes to Steam, it's probably going to start rough but quickly smooth out. I wouldn't expect it to be any more difficult than it is to 're-activate' Windows.

I guess we differ on what is tolerable, for no appreciable gain? Hopefully this system ends up like you imagine, a beneficial added security layer, not a huge hassle and eventual new games tied to one machine through Steam, as I suspect.

 
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9. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 08:44 Overon
 
Has anyone from Valve addressed the concern that this could be used to tie a game to one computer?  
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8. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 08:35 DarkCntry
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 6, 2011, 07:48:
1) No DRM actually works, especially over time. Dongles and other hardware 'solutions' have failed repeatedly in the past, I don't see how this is radically different, and they end up being just a huge hassle most of the time anyway for legitimate users.

I wasn't talking about it being used as a DRM, I was talking about it being used as a security feature for the users.

2) Cloud computing is bullshit for 99% of the user population, and exists only as a buzzword phrase to disguise the removal of even more control from users, aka storing some/all data for whatever app away from the users' primary computers.
*EDIT* Yes this statistic was made up for this post. *EDIT*

3) "Cloud computing" is not mutually exclusive from tying the majority of account control, or entire games as is probably the real plan, to one set of hardware. I can easily see Valve keeping some games 'open' and some newer games from Ubi or EA or whatever completely tied to ONE hardware setup per person. Will this happen? I guess we will see shortly.

I don't believe you're grasping what I am talking about.

Valve's use of cloud computing is not meant for control, but the ability for someone to access their information on a non-primary system. In other words, I can access my Steam information on a friends computer if I am visiting them.

4) You brought up the main hassle yourself, for most users: how to change to a new hardware group. Is this going to be ridiculously annoying? Probably.

Based on Valve's previous changes to Steam, it's probably going to start rough but quickly smooth out. I wouldn't expect it to be any more difficult than it is to 're-activate' Windows.

Maybe it is a huge problem for some people, getting their Steam accounts taken over? Nobody I know on Steam(60+ people) has ever had their account even bothered in any way. Of course, maybe half those people are actually somebody ELSE now, after being hacked and stolen...


That's neither here nor there...it's just an added layer of security, which when used correctly is never a bad thing.
 
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7. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 07:48 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
DarkCntry wrote on Mar 6, 2011, 04:37:
Actually it's a pretty good security feature as long as it isn't too obtrusive and annoying to update if/when you upgrade hardware (since that's what most of us do usually every 2 years).

As for making it a DRM system to block usage on multiple systems, that doesn't make sense since Valve has been actively pushing for cloud computing...

1) No DRM actually works, especially over time. Dongles and other hardware 'solutions' have failed repeatedly in the past, I don't see how this is radically different, and they end up being just a huge hassle most of the time anyway for legitimate users.

2) Cloud computing is bullshit for 99% of the user population, and exists only as a buzzword phrase to disguise the removal of even more control from users, aka storing some/all data for whatever app away from the users' primary computers.
*EDIT* Yes this statistic was made up for this post. *EDIT*

3) "Cloud computing" is not mutually exclusive from tying the majority of account control, or entire games as is probably the real plan, to one set of hardware. I can easily see Valve keeping some games 'open' and some newer games from Ubi or EA or whatever completely tied to ONE hardware setup per person. Will this happen? I guess we will see shortly.

4) You brought up the main hassle yourself, for most users: how to change to a new hardware group. Is this going to be ridiculously annoying? Probably.

Maybe it is a huge problem for some people, getting their Steam accounts taken over? Nobody I know on Steam(60+ people) has ever had their account even bothered in any way. Of course, maybe half those people are actually somebody ELSE now, after being hacked and stolen...

 
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6. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 6, 2011, 04:37 DarkCntry
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Mar 5, 2011, 22:47:
Ugh, Steam accounts tied to specific hardware. This pretty much defeats the main good side to Steam DRM, aka being able to use one steam account on multiple systems.

Who would actually volunteer to use this? They claim it's only account MANAGEMENT at the moment, but it seems like this could very quickly become account access, especially as they also seem to be marketing it to developers/publishers.

What a shame, now I'm just going to have to wait 4-5 years for things to come out gog.com

Actually it's a pretty good security feature as long as it isn't too obtrusive and annoying to update if/when you upgrade hardware (since that's what most of us do usually every 2 years).

As for making it a DRM system to block usage on multiple systems, that doesn't make sense since Valve has been actively pushing for cloud computing...
 
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5. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 5, 2011, 22:47 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
Ugh, Steam accounts tied to specific hardware. This pretty much defeats the main good side to Steam DRM, aka being able to use one steam account on multiple systems.

Who would actually volunteer to use this? They claim it's only account MANAGEMENT at the moment, but it seems like this could very quickly become account access, especially as they also seem to be marketing it to developers/publishers.

What a shame, now I'm just going to have to wait 4-5 years for things to come out gog.com
 
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4. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 5, 2011, 22:31 Kajetan
 
KilrathiAce wrote on Mar 5, 2011, 21:59:
Better question is WHY DONT THEY ALLOW US TO HAVE SECONDARY EMAIL tied to the account so that if something happens to our primary email there is easy way to recover account.... duh its no brainer.
Because they want to implement hardware DRM?
 
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3. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 5, 2011, 21:59 KilrathiAce
 
Better question is WHY DONT THEY ALLOW US TO HAVE SECONDARY EMAIL tied to the account so that if something happens to our primary email there is easy way to recover account.... duh its no brainer.  
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2. Re: Steam Guard Beta Mar 5, 2011, 20:50 eRe4s3r
 
Because that would cost money.  
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