Valve Boosts Steam Security Following Malware Infestations
Valve Corporation has recently announced the rolling out of improved security features for user-generated game content on its Steam gaming platform. The move comes in reaction to a recent spate of malware infestations, which compromised a number of accounts and were believed to have originated from user-generated content. The new security features are meant to protect gamers from malicious content, as well as draw attention to malicious activity on titles with many user-generated assets.
One major security feature is the implementation of “Steam File DNA” scanning for user-generated content within games. This technology works by analyzing files and looking for malicious patterns, and then warnings the user before downloading. Steam File DNA will be included in all newly-released titles on the Steam platform, with existing titles retroactively getting the feature via updates.
Valve is also looking to better alert users of malicious activity by monitoring user reviews for titles that have user-generated content. Steam Reviews will now flag content that contains malicious files or links, allowing users to more easily discern what is not safe to download. Additionally, specific game badges are being developed to show users when content is compromised or deemed potentially dangerous.
In addition, developers are now required to use Valve’s built-in digital rights management (DRM) system, Steamworks Partner Protection, when creating user-generated content for their games. This will help protect against the spread of malicious content, as well as inform users when they are downloading files from an unverified source.
These changes are being welcomed by the gaming community, who see this as a step in the right direction for increased security of titles with user-generated content. While the Steam platform is not completely secure yet, Valve appears to be on the right track for keeping users safe, as well as providing a more secure and enjoyable overall gaming experience.