Computer security warning to all professional poker players, after the Finnish duo Jens Kyllonen and Henri Jaakkola confirm that their laptops were infected with a RAT, analysts from F-Secure confirm.
Do you remember the Poltergeist-like goings on at the Arts Hotel in Barcelona during the European Poker Tour (EPT) earlier this year?
Well, rather than call Mulder and Scully, the Finnish duo Jens Kyllonen and Henri Jaakkola called in the experts at F-Secure, an anti virus, cloud content and computer security firm based in their motherland.
The laptops were handed over for examination and the hi-tech geniuses found that a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) had infected both devices. A nifty little device that would help the person who planted the spyware to view the pair’s hole cards remotely.
PokerNews reporter Rich Ryan reported the following from F-Secure:
“There was a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) with timestamps coinciding with the time when the laptop had gone missing. Apparently, the attacker installed the Trojan from a USB memory stick and configured it to automatically start at every reboot. A RAT, by the way, is a common tool that allows an attacker to control and monitor a laptop remotely, viewing anything that happens on the machine.”
So not only would the hacker have the ability to see the Finnish players hole cards, but they would also gain access to every piece of personal information siphoned through the laptop that could include passport details, bank account details and access to all e-mail and social media accounts.
F-Secure confirmed that both players had the same Trojan installed, that it was not complicated to do, was not the first time they had seen it, and in all cases the RAT was installed after the attacker had gone through the trouble of targeting the laptop, rather than attempting to breach the cyber walls remotely.
The advice from the hi-tech wizards is simple.
“Lock the keyboard when you step away. Put it in a safe when you’re not around it, and encrypt the disk to prevent off-line access. Don’t surf the web with it (use another laptop/device for that, they’re relatively cheap). This advice is true whether you’re a poker pro using a laptop for gaming or a business controller in a large company using the computer for wiring a large amount of funds.”
You can follow this amazing story from the very beginning on this 2+2 thread started by Kyllonen.
So Kyllonen and Jaakkola at least know they are not going crazy, but this still leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Who planted the device, do they have a connection to poker, and how did they gain access to the player’s hotel rooms?
Screw this…perhaps we do need Mulder and Scully after all?