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Vapor - Desktop Authenticator for Steam


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Hey, hope everyone is doing well. Thought it might be good to share this with the community now that I’ve found the time to make it look nicer and more user-friendly for others to use.



As a long-term investor, it can be tricky sometimes for me to manage all of my alternative Steam storage accounts, especially during each seasonal TF2 event and CS:GO operation. This involves both having to login to that account by logging into each one individually (manually by logging in and logging out) or programmatically. This can be a very long task, especially when you need to process (list on Steam Community Market, send them elsewhere to someone else etc.) or store any items across multiple accounts. Account management may require you to keep track of a document with all of your secrets that you have found some other way if you are doing it programmatically by yourself.


Solutions for this either include having all of your accounts use your mobile authenticator app, which may be a nuisance if you treat it like so, or having to use Steam Desktop Authenticator (SDA) or WinAuth. SDA requires installation of several software packages and can be difficult for some users to set up. An out-of-the-box solution like WinAuth that comes with everything unfortunately doesn’t support Linux or MacOSX (which I use).


I’ve recently created my own desktop authenticator application called Vapor (like Steam, heh) to help me standardise management of my alts as well as experiment more with Steam’s APIs for my other projects, and I thought that it would be helpful for others to make use of should they be in a similar position and need an authenticator application that is a bit more handier in alt management. It is an out-of-the-box solution that works on Windows, MacOSX and Linux (Debian-based and RPM-based systems supported).



One of the main benefits of the application is that it acts as an authenticator itself, providing Steam Guard codes should you set the account up with the authenticator feature. You can also switch between accounts in a jiffy to make the process as easy as possible.





Logging into the app with your login details does not require you to hook up the authenticator to the account - you can use it as a means of loading windowed browser sessions as that account e.g I can login to the desktop authenticator as my alternative account that has no authenticator attached all fine and load a windowed version of steamcommunity.com logged in as my alternative account without me having to ever touch the login form on the browser. This is probably best visualised via gif.




A full list of features can be found here.



One of the key things I should note is that this application does defeat the purpose of 2FA, in which a virus infecting your computer may hijack the authenticator app if it is actively aware of it, meaning that you unknowingly installing a virus on your desktop becomes the single point of failure to your stored accounts being compromised. As such, it is advised that you should not use this as a primary means of Steam authentication, unless you accept full responsibility of preventing unauthorised access to your computer and are definite that the tradeoff of convenience outweighs the security risk. I stress that this should only be used as a very last resort for convenience purposes only, if at all.


I should also note that I do not encrypt secrets at the moment as I personally haven't come across a need for it. For those who are cautious, I would highly and greatly recommend sticking to Steam Mobile Authenticator / encrypted Steam Desktop Authenticator / WinAuth or assisting in adding a secure file encryption method that does not cheap out on security. Bad security (e.g obfuscation) is as good as no security.



I am happy to add additional features (please add them here) should there be a sensible demand for them, alongside other users contributing to the source code to implement their own features. A lot of the basic features work as expected, however, I do admit there may be bugs and errors that I might not have caught myself and thus I hope that by releasing this, it allows others to catch me out on any bugs I might have wrote.


Installation details, demonstration gifs and source code can be found here and only there.


Feel free to have a look at the source code for Vapor and ask any questions not asked in the FAQ. For those who may be interested in helping out and adding additional features, help is always appreciated and contributing details can be found here.


Feel free to use it (at your own discretion) and feel free to let me know your thoughts on any comments, issues or suggestions you may have below.

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