Multiple game developers have had their Valve accounts compromised recently, with the attackers using these accounts to update the games they were distributing through Steam, by adding malicious code.
Valve has confirmed the news, contacting affected users via email, but has already taken steps to make sure something like this never happens again.
By the end of October 2023, developers will need to pass two-factor authentication (2FA) before being allowed to deliver the latest game update to the players. Unfortunately, the only way to pass 2FA will be via SMS, opening up the developers to SIM swapping. That being said, Steam partners will need to register a phone number with the platform soon enough. Those who don’t want to do that will have no other way to update their game.
Speaking to PC Gamer, Valve said the “extra friction” is a "necessary tradeoff for keeping Steam users safe and developers aware of any potential compromise to their account."
If all of this sounds like overkill, it’s because this isn’t the first time Steam’s come under cybercriminal fire. Valve told the media that there’s been “an uptick in sophisticated attacks” against developer accounts recently.
One of the developers whose account was compromised, the media report, is Benoît Freslon. On Twitter, he said that malware stole his browser access tokens, which gave the attackers temporary access to his Steam account, where he kept his game NanoWar: Cells VS Virus.
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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.