Online Poker Client Malware Lets Hackers Peek at Player Hands
Online poker sites are being targeted by a new kind of malware that allows hackers to actually view their opponents’ hands while the game is being played.
The malicious program is actually a Trojan Horse named Odlanor that piggybacks onto poker clients at sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker when players download common programs like, Tournament Shark, Poker Calculator Pro, Smart Buddy, Poker Office.
Once it has its claws in its victims PC, Odlanor allows hackers to take a screen shot of the opponents’ hands. To say that this gives hackers an edge in the game is something of an understatement.
The name Odlanor was given to the malware by Slovakian-based team of computer scientists at an outfit called ESET, that discovered it.
In an interview with TechTimes, lead ESET researcher Robert Lipovsky said he thinks the malware originated in Russia sometime last spring, and has effected about 1,000 – mostly Eastern European – players so far.
One group that isn’t so sure about Lipovsky’s claims is the online poker industry itself. Representatives from PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker have denied these reports and say they haven’t heard any reports from players about malware-effected games. (Of course there’s a good chance that the infected players have no idea that they’ve been scammed.)
That said, both companies suggest that players keep their anti-virus software updated and avoid downloading programs from sources that can’t be verified. Players who think their poker clients have been infected are advised to cease play and contact the operator immediately.