Sunday 23 October 2016

Online poker play snooped on by malicious virus

David Kearns

Published 18/09/2015 | 17:03

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Online poker players are being targeted by a computer virus that spies on their virtual cards.

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The malicious code, identified as Win32/Spy.Odlanor, goes after users on two of the internet’s biggest poker sites PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, according to research by security firm Eset.

The software shares the cards with the virus's creators who then join the same game and try to fleece the victim.

The software also targets other information on a victim's computer such as login names and passwords.

The virus has been found lurking in software designed to help poker fans play better.

When it infects a machine, the software monitors the PC's activity and springs to life when a victim logs into either one of the two poker sites.

It then starts taking screenshots of their activity and the cards they are dealt and sends this information to another user.

The images show the hand the player has been dealt as well as their player ID.

This, says Eset, allows those behind the virus to search for that player and join their game.

"We are unsure whether the perpetrator plays the games manually or in some automated way," Eset said in its blog post.

“Using information about a victim's hand gives the attacker a significant advantage.”

Eset said the spyware had been active for several months and most victims were in Europe, particularly Russia and the Ukraine.

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