Valve announced today that they were taking steps to increase the security of Steam accounts, by allowing users to lock modification of their account down to one PC. This is made possible at the processor level, using a technology from Intel.
Obviously, locking your Steam profile to one PC limits your Steam account, but to some, the tradeoff is worth the extra security. Users can begin opting into the new security mechanism immediately, which requires users to approve any modification to their account if the modification occurs from a PC other than their own.
Here's the statement that Valve made earlier today:
Valve announced today a new Steam and Steamworks feature called Steam Guard, which gives users greatly increased account security.
Steam Guard 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.
Steam Guard will take advantage of upcoming Intel® Identity Protection Technology (Intel® IPT), an encrypted, hardware-based feature available with the new 2nd Generation Intel® CoreT and Intel® CoreT vProT processors. IPT generates a new numerical password every 30 seconds, integrating into the processor functionality that previously required a separate card or key fob.
Users will also be notified if any PCs other than those authorized by them attempt to log into or modify their account settings.
Steam Guard is available to third parties to incorporate into their own applications through Steamworks.
"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."
"We expect to see widespread adoption of hardware-based security like Intel IPT by other service providers," said Doug Lombardi, Valve's Vice President of Marketing. "If as a customer you are buying movies, music, games, or digital goods, you want to know that they are more secure than your physical goods."
"With over 30 million accounts worldwide, Steam is an ideal platform for Intel IPT," said George Thangadurai, General Manager of PC Client Services at Intel. "Those running Steam are investing in a robust digital collection of PC games. By adding hardware-based protection to these investments, we hope to bolster the amazing success of platforms such as Steam."
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