Steam Under Attack: A Comedic Spin on the Cybersecurity Cat-and-Mouse Game

Hackers are turning up the heat on the Steam platform with malware attacks, using compromised game developer accounts. Valve’s response? A steamy new two-factor authentication via SMS. It’s a gaming thriller where the bosses are cybercriminals and the power-ups are extra security measures. Get ready to level up your cybersecurity game, folks!

Hot Take:

Hey there, fellow gamer! More like “In-steam-ity” happening over at Valve, right? Hackers are doing what they do best – make us all sweat – by delivering malware through Steam, using compromised game developer accounts. But Valve is hitting back with a two-factor authentication requirement. On the downside, you’ll need to pass it via SMS. So, brace yourselves for a whirlwind of SIM swapping hazards. Because nothing says “fun” quite like worrying about cybersecurity while you’re trying to beat your high score, am I right?

Key Points:

  • Hackers have managed to deliver malware through Steam, using compromised game developer accounts.
  • Valve has taken steps to prevent a recurrence, including a requirement for two-factor authentication via SMS for developers to update games.
  • The new security measures are considered a “necessary tradeoff” for user safety and developer account protection.
  • French developer Benoît Freslon was among those targeted, with malware stealing his browser access tokens and gaining temporary access to his Steam account.
  • Valve has reported an increase in “sophisticated attacks” against developer accounts.

Need to know more?

Passing Steam with flying colors

Valve is stepping up its game with a new two-factor authentication requirement. By the end of October 2023, game developers will need to pass this extra level of security before they can deliver game updates to players. However, the only means to pass will be through SMS, which presents a new risk: SIM swapping.

Security Tradeoff: A necessary evil?

Valve referred to these additional security measures as "extra friction" but justified the move as a necessary safeguard for Steam users and developers. Because having your game interrupted by malware is about as fun as stepping on a Lego barefoot, right?

Deja-vu or déjà Steam?

This isn't the first time Steam has been targeted by cybercriminals. Valve has noted an uptick in sophisticated attacks against developer accounts, making this a game of cyber cat-and-mouse that's less "Super Mario" and more "Resident Evil."

Steamy Tale of a French Developer

The saga features characters like Benoît Freslon, a developer who fell victim to the malware attack. His browser access tokens were stolen, granting the attackers temporary access to his Steam account. The plot thickens as the attackers used this access to update his game, NanoWar: Cells VS Virus, with malicious code. Talk about an unexpected game update, huh?
Tags: cyber attacks, data breach, Game Developers, Malware, SIM Swapping, Steam platform, Two-Factor Authentication