Virus gives poker cheats a hand online

Hundreds of online poker players have had their computers infected with a virus that tells cybercriminals what cards they are holding, according to a security researcher.

The malicious software, named Odlanor, takes snapshots of their hands while they play, allowing an opponent to adjust their tactics and, effectively, fleece their victim, he said.

After the malware had installed itself on a victim’s computer, it could take live pictures from inside PokerStars, the largest poker site in the world, and its sister site, Full Tilt Poker, said Robert Lipovsky, a researcher at ESET, an IT security company in Slovakia. It was not yet known whether the attackers played the games manually or used automated “bots”.

Mr Lipovsky added: “Every once in a while, we stumble upon something that stands out, that doesn’t fall into the ‘common’ malware categories we encounter every day, such as ransomware, banking trojans or targeted attacks.”

The malware makes its way on to a victim’s computer when they download poker-related programmes such as odds calculators.

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