Online poker players have been warned of a spyware threat that tilts any chance of victory. A new computer virus - Win32/Spy.Odlanor - all but ensures that if you play, you may pay.
The sneaky malware was found lurking in a piece of software designed to help poker enthusiasts to play better, said security company ESET. It works by taking screenshots of a player's computer while they are playing online poker. These screenshots are then sent to a remote attacker computer.
The screenshots show the player's hand and their player ID. This allows the attacker to search for that player online and join their poker game. Using the information on a victim's hand in the screenshot gives the attacker a significant, unfair advantage in a poker game.
Like other computer trojan, Win32/Spy.Odlanor can be unintentionally installed on a computer when the user downloads an infected app or online software. As of September 16, there have been reports of hundreds of users who have been infected with the malware. Most of the people who have been infected to date are located in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
The news comes hot on the heels of PayPal quietly announcing that it was returning to online gambling in the US after 12 years of absence from the industry. Online gambling is illegal in most of the states of the United States, but a growing number are introducing bills that would legalize gambling. Because fraudsters often target online gambling, Paypal has invested heavily in fraud risk management since 2003.
What a scary threat to poker players. It makes one wonder though - will the malware be also able to affect the super computer Claudico?