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tal onzy

May 21, 2014
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Charlie Hall polygon

Valve says that every month more than 77,000 Steam accounts are hijacked. The problem is so bad, and growing so fast, that they've simply given up trying to stop it and have instead put measures in place to make it difficult for thieves to profit from their organized criminal network.

The developer and publisher, which is as well known for its secrecy as it is for being a pioneer of open digital markets, included that shocking number in a statement issued yesterday on the news page of their official Steam storefront. The post focuses around the insular but growing world of Steam trading, already the world's largest storefront for digital hats but also in-game weapons and skins. Items like rare CS:GO knives regularly trade for hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

To slow the rate of theft, Steam recently introduced a system called a "trade hold" where items are essentially held in escrow for a finite period of time before a transaction is finalized. The process is necessary, Steam says, because account theft is so pervasive on their platform.

"Account theft has been around since Steam began," the post explains, "but with the introduction of Steam Trading, the problem has increased twenty-fold as the number one complaint from our users. Having your account stolen, and your items traded away, is a terrible experience, and we hated that it was becoming more common for our customers