Bad luck is not the only reason players lose a game of poker at present. Recently, a new malware that works on online poker rooms such as Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars has been discovered. Hackers use this malware to get a peep of opponents’ cards, thus giving them a definite gaming advantage over the unsuspecting opponent.
The credit of discovering this malware, a Trojan called Odlanor, goes to ESET, an IT security company based in Slovakia. Odlanor is known to attacking poker pros at Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars.
Robert Lipovsky, who researches malware at ESET, said: “The attacker seems to operate in a simple manner: After the victim has successfully been infected with the Trojan, the perpetrator will attempt to join the table where the victim is playing, thereby having an unfair advantage by being able to see the cards in their hand.”
According to Lipovsky, as many as 1000 cases regarding malware attacks have been recorded from March 2015. As many as 36% of those attacked are Russians and 35% are Ukrainian players. ESET says that several online poker players residing in Hungary, Czech Republic, Belarus, Poland, and Kazkhstan have also fallen prey to this malware.
Although ESET says that the malware gives hackers unfair advantage over the victims, PokerStars continues to maintain that none of its servers have been attacked by the Malware. Poker players at these sites have also not complained of being attacked by malware.
PokerStars warns its players that they must secure their computers to avoid malware attacks. The online poker room urges players to protect themselves from such malware attacks by installing security software. Players are also advised to update their operating system regularly, download and install software only from trusted and reliable sources, and implement effective antivirus software.
ESET researchers say that hackers use the malware to get screenshots of the hands of players using infected systems. These screenshots also reveal the players’ user ID, which the hackers then easily use to get connected to the victim’s table. However, ESET still doesn’t know if the players’ computers are manually or automatically hacked.
ESET has reason to believe that the malware is available in several versions, and the newest versions are also used to steal valuable data. So far, only residents of Eastern European countries have fallen prey to this malware, but online poker players from countries worldwide are in danger of getting this malware on their computers.