New Malware Takes Screen Shots of Hole Cards

Date: 2015-09-25
Author: Jason Glatzer

If you have ever thought about downloading poker-related software or any other software from anywhere else but the company selling it, think again.  Not only is this practice unethical, but you can also find yourself to be a victim of cybercrime.
Last week, anti-virus software provider ESET shocked the poker world by reporting a story about how people who were downloading a variety of poker software from "illegitimate sources" unknowingly received more than they bargained for with not only the software, but also a piece of malware known as Odlandor.
Odlandor allows a third-party to steal screenshots from the victim's computer, which include the player's username and hole cards.  Obviously, if someone can see your hole cards, it will be almost impossible for you to win.
According to ESET, in many cases the software was loaded onto the victim's system through various poker-related programs such as Tournament Shark, Poker Calculator Pro, Smart Buddy, and Poker Office.
Just to be clear here, these programs are all safe to use.  However, if you are not downloading or using them from the site offering the services itself, you are exposing yourself to a great risk.  In other words, if you are thinking of using any poker software and someone offers you a free copy, just politely say no and download the software from the site itself to be safe.
While it is believed to right now only be targeting players on two of the largest online poker rooms in PokerStars and Full Tilt, there is no reason to believe it couldn't be used against players who play at other poker rooms as well.
Also of note is that the attack seems centralized in Eastern Europe, with 36% of the affected users reportedly being from Russia, 35% from Ukraine, and computers from online poker players in Belarus, Kazakhstan, and mostly other CIS countries comprising the remaining 27%.
A PokerStars representative commented about Odlandor to PokerStrategy, saying, "PokerStars and Full Tilt are aware that some players' computers have been targeted by malicious software. An initial review of gameplay for those accounts where we believe this malware was present found no evidence that these players have lost funds due to unfair play. In line with our constant goal for utmost security, we recommend that players protect themselves against this sort of attack by practicing good computer security. Players should keep their operating system updated, use reliable anti-virus software, and only install software from reputable sources."

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