New online poker malware peeks helps hackers cheat

Customers of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker may be playing with fire, according to researchers at ESET, a Slovakian IT security company.

A new malware family called Odlanor is focused specifically on online poker, and takes screenshots of opponents hands in order to allow attackers to win more often online.  According to ESET, hundreds of Windows users have been infected with the malware. Robert Lipovsky, a senior malware researcher at ESET, was quoted in ESET's post saying, “We have seen this trojan masquerading as number of benign installers for general purpose programs, such as Daemon Tools or uTorrent. In other case it is installed through various poker-related programs.” Those “poker-related programs” have been listed as Tournament Shark, Poker Calculator Pro, Smart Buddy, and Poker Office.

When the malware is installed, it will check whether Pokerstars or FullTilt Poker are used on the computer. The malware will show attackers which players have been infected and when users start a game against an attacker it will take periodic screenshots of the infected players hand, thus giving the attacker a significant upper hand.

ESET has said that this malware was initially seen in eastern and central Europe, in countries like Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. “Nevertheless”, Robert Lipovsky added in a blog post, “the trojan poses a potential threat to any player of online poker.”