Steam Asks Users if They're Human

Steam, the online gaming platform known for hosting Max Payne, Half Life 2, Skyrim and other top titles, has decided to help thwart malware on the platform by asking users if they’re human.

A CAPTCHA mechanism has been added to its Steam Trading Cards mechanism for any gifting or trading transactions. The cards are virtual collectibles that users can trade back and forth and cash in for rewards in the Steam store.

“We’re updating trading to include a captcha as part of confirmation process,” Steam owner Valve said in a posting. “This is to prevent malware on users’ machines making trades on their behalf. We know it’s a bit of a hassle, and we don’t like making trading harder for users, but we do expect it to significantly help customers who are tricked into downloading and running malware from losing their items.”

Steam has excluded a few of the existing third-party trading services from the requirement so they can continue to function.

Unfortunately, the update appears to have knocked trades out that were pending. “Just cancelled all my pending trade offers, won't even let me trade main keeps crashing,” one comment reads.

Others were similarly nonplussed, with many requests to turn the CAPTCHA off.

“If people are stupid enough to fall for something that would infect them with malware they deserve it anyway for being stupid,” said one. “I feel like Valve is on a mission to make Steam as annoying a service as possible.”

Even so, the decision to implement additional security is likely a wise one considering that Steam is certainly a target. Recently, its chat service was found to have been hijacked by malware pushers.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?