Hackers give online gamblers a run for their money

Cyberspace has created a new landscape for cheaters and criminals to cheat (and cheat on) people in ways that could not have been anticipated even a decade ago. Hackers have made headlines targeting big corporations like Target and Home Depot in recent memory, and now they have averted their gaze to a new victim: online poker players.

Hackers are implementing a malicious piece of malware known as Win32/Spy.Odlanor which is used against a poker player to bet against them and win the game. The spyware enables hackers to see a virtual player’s poker hand, then log into the same game and bet against their victim in an effort to increase the stakes and take their money.(1)

The Odlanor software can cheat people with accounts on PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. It was first discovered by San Diego-based security experts at Eset, a workforce dedicated to providing safer internet to its customers.(1)

Apps infected by malicious malware

Gamers may inadvertently download Odlanor if they download infected software or an infected app. The malware acts as installers for various programs, such as Daemon Tools or mTorrent, which means that you may have the malware running on your operating system without even realizing it. The researchers discovered that in some cases the spyware was uploaded through poker programs like Tournament Shark, Poker Calculator Pro, Smart Buddy and Poker Office, among many others.(1)

Whenever a user downloads Odlanor, it takes a snapshot of the two poker players’ hands. The screen shot is then projected back to the hacker’s computer. The screen shots reveal both the poker player’s cards and their personal I.D. The I.D. allows the hacker to recognize the table the player is playing on. Eset is unsure whether the hacker plays the game manually or in an automated way.

Since September 16, hundreds of gamers have been victims of the malware technology. The victims were spread throughout European countries, including the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary. There have been several different strands of the malware, the earliest one tracing back to March 2015. The most advanced form of Odlanor can mount data stealing functions on top of the screenshot functionality.(2)

A history of hacking

This isn’t the first time hackers have given online gamblers a run for their money. Back in 2007, Patrik Antonius and Johnny Lodden lost all of their holdings to a hacker who infected their computer with malware while chatting with them on MSN messenger. That same year, gamblers grew suspicious of a player under the guise of “POTRIPPER” at Absolute Poker who systematically dominated the game. It was later revealed that POTRIPPER had access to security systems which allowed him to see all of the players cards.(2)

More recently, Finnish poker pro Jens Kyllonen, among other poker players, suspected their computers were being tampered with during the European Poker Tour Barcelona in 2013. While mysteries still surround the event, many gamblers believe to this day that hackers were trying to obtain personal information from their computers.(2)

All bets are off in the world of cyberspace, especially when it comes to online poker. In an effort to combat online hackers, Eset encourages players to update their anti-virus software and to delete any suspicious files. In addition, players can alert the two targeted sites if they suspect suspicious activity. To do otherwise is a bad gamble.(1)

Internet security is vital whether you’re shopping at Home Depot or playing an online game of Texas Hold ‘Em. Find other breaking stories on walware and hackers at AlternativeNews.com.

Sources include:

(1) DailyMail.co.uk
(2) CardSchat.com