Online Poker = Cheating, Robbery, War, and Death (?)

by , Mar 12, 2008 | 12:40 pm

Bots, colluders, super-user accounts … all things online poker players need to be wary of … and now, according to a presumably well-respected tech site, we also need to be afraid of Trojans. The claim is that poker players have been ripped off for millions of Euros:

“Online poker players are a massive target for hackers. People play it with real money obviously, so they’re a big target. We were just investigating a case where a professional online poker player was attacked by someone he would play against regularly online. And we’re talking about professional players, and big money. Hundreds of thousands of euros on the table at a time,” he said.

“All of a sudden he started losing. He would regularly lose even when he had a great hand – pocket aces for example. If he had an unbeatable hand, the other players would simply fold. And when he tried to bluff, he would lose. He lost a lot of money this way, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of euros.

“This went on for weeks. And when we looked into it we realised that one of the other players at the table had sent him a tool. A calculater to help optimise the poker playing or whatever. And we found that the application included a Trojan.

“Which means that when he was playing online poker against these people who were in another country, the guy could press a button and he would receive a screenshot of the target’s screen. So he sees the hold cards. If you’re playing poker and the other players know your cards, it’s pretty hard to win.

“It’s a clever attack because the hacker could have just stolen the account and moved the money away. But he would have been caught. But this way the target was losing his money to someone else and he didn’t realise it was a con. I don’t think many online poker players realise that those kind of attacks are being done.”

I’m not sure if this article is a good warning or just anti-online poker propaganda. It brings to light a case where online poker was apparently used to launder money to fund insurgents fighting against Americans in Iraq. Yikes.

3 Comments to “Online Poker = Cheating, Robbery, War, and Death (?)”

  1. snake

    it’s a good warning not to be stupid.

    the player i believe they’re talking about is johnny lodden…who thought mohammad kowssarie (aka fast_freddie..or TheTerrorist) was using the trojan to see his hole cards. something possibly about the Swedish hells angels.

    btw the iraqi insurgents case had nothing to do with Trojans or hacks ..just laundering money by playing online that they had defrauded people out of.

    hey i read Pokerati!

  2. DanM

    Oh, right … just re-read that part. Thanks for pointing it out. Indeed, pretty good way to launder money, actually. Duly noted and corrected.

    Ya know, Snake, Pokerati fact-checker could look pretty good on your resume …

  3. DanM

    ***it’s a good warning not to be stupid.***

    But really, what does that mean? When is Bluff going to run an article on something like:

    The Top 5 Ways to Tell When You’re Playing against Bots, Colluders, Terrorists, and Absolute Poker execs?