Professional poker players get their rooms broken into and laptops stolen, recovered and possibly infected with trojans. All of this happened at the EPT Barcelona poker tournament at the Hotel Arts
Reported on September 5th, 2013 by a professional poker player who goes by the username Jeans on twoplustwo forums
reported his room was broken into, computer stolen, then recovered and believed to have been infected with a trojan. The same thing has happened to at least one other poker player that was playing in the tournament. Based on the information provided in another followup post by Jeans, it seems almost conclusive that this was an inside job where the hotel staff had something to do with it. When the poker player complained about all of the unusual activity happening in his room, he asked for security camera footage where the hotel staff appeared uncooperative and also said that those cameras were not working.
It seems odd that a luxury hotel wouldn't have functioning cameras and this would happen where whomever went into their rooms, wouldn't get caught at all. You can read the very long story posted by Jeans accounting the details of what happened during the events and everything he has discovered. Why would this happen? It seems the purpose of the breakins were to install a trojan on the laptops of the poker players. Some of the top players in the world have 7 figures in their online poker accounts and this is a lot of money. Having access to these accounts could allow someone to transfer money away from the account or play on their behalf losing it to another player. Probably the worst case scenario that could happen is the trojan would be used against the player to share the screen information of that player while playing. This could be used by another player to know their cards and basically bust them. This probably has already happened to a number of other poker pros who have gone from rags to riches and back to rags again for some unknown reason. Either way something like this would bother any player and what happened was probably some sort of elaborate heist or fraud, except no money or diamonds were stolen. This case should be fully reported to the police to hold those accountable and to serve as a deterrent for others that may want to try such a thing. Meanwhile for poker players, this will scare many of them into trying to ensure their computers and accounts remain as secure as possible. PokerStars head of communications, Lee Jones, confirmed the report in twoplustwo and said this: "Hi folks - Unfortunately, the OP is accurate. We're only aware of two cases, but obviously there could be more. Our security manager is working with the Hotel Arts security people to find out who did this. In the meantime:
We're very sorry about this; everybody on our staff and at the Hotel Arts is taking the situation seriously. We have the Barcelona police involved too. We'll keep you updated as soon as we know more. For now, please be hyper-vigilant and hyper-careful about your laptop. Best regards, Lee Jones PokerStars Head of Poker Communications
- If you're staying at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona, please store your laptop in the room safe. If it won't fit in the room safe, buy a laptop cable lock (available at any computer store) and lock your laptop to something in the room. If you can't do that, take your laptop with you when you leave the room.
- Change the password on your laptop right now.
- We strongly encourage you to run virus/trojan detector software on your computer before using it for any online play.
- I know it's a hassle, but wiping the computer clean and reinstalling everything before you play online poker with it would not be a terrible idea.
Click here to view the complete thread by Jeans at twoplustwo.com Poker forums