Online poker players’ cards snooped on by virus

Online poker players on two of the biggest sites are being duped by a piece of malware which spies on their cards, a security research firm has found

A piece of malware designed to spy on online poker players’ cards has been discovered by a security research firm.

The bug, identified as Win32/Spy.Odlanor, has been found targeting users on two of the web’s biggest poker sites, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, according to researchers at ESET.

The malware worms its way onto users’ Windows-running computers through innocuous-seeming poker-themed downloads and programs, such as databases, calculators and online player lists.

After the trojan has infected the unsuspecting player’s system, it can create screenshots of PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker’s windows if the victim is running theme, which are in turn sent remotely to the attacker.

The screenshots contain player IDs and the cards within their decks, allowing the attacker to track down the target and join the virtual table they’re playing on.

Several hundred users have been infected by the malware, the majority of whom are located in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

Researchers at Oxford University recently warned that humans may accidentally spam aliens or send them dangerous computer viruses in an attempt to contact them.

Messages sent into space may inadvertently infect the technology of other civilisations, they warned.