Online poker cheating demonstrates insider risk

Poker cheats are using insider knowledge to gain competitive advantage.

When determining the risk to a system and the data stored on it, insider threats are generally regarded as lower risk. Despite the complete access (high risk) that insiders generally have, most of the time insiders are trusted agents (very low risk) on the network. When it breaks down, it can break down in a catastrophic manner, especially if there is money at stake.

One such incident took place in the middle of last year when one or more individuals with trusted access to the systems of UltimateBet and Absolute Poker used that access to create several fake usernames and used them to make an undisclosed amount of money off online poker players. While creating the fake player accounts may not necessarily be cheating, it was the use of software that allowed the insiders to view the competing players' hole cards which was.

An investigation by a Canadian gaming commission found that the cheating continued for six weeks and that the management and admins of Absolute Poker had further exacerbated the situation through the deletion of critical gaming logs and failed to report the breach within 24 hours of discovery.

Absolute Poker was Absolute Poker fined US$500,000 in January for four breaches of the gaming commission's rules, three of which were for inaction or attempt to cover up the incident by the site. In addition to the fine, Absolute Poker will be subject to random auditing over the next 24 months, at their expense.

On the positive side for the affected human players, it was found that Absolute Poker had acted to refund losses and taken steps to prevent similar action in the future.

Online poker playing has always been surrounded by the whispers of cheating when it comes to the actions of other players at the table and ongoing investigations with Absolute Poker turned up a more serious cheating scheme that had been operational for 21 months, completely encompassing the above incident, but unrelated.

When big money is on the virtual table for playing a card game across the Internet, people are going to be motivated to do what they can to weight the odds in their favour. At the US$1.2 million 2007 World Championship of Online Poker, managed by PokerStars, the first place finisher was disqualified for cheating (believed to have been multiple accounts active at the same time to improve chances of winning, though at $2,500 per buy-in the cheating is believed to be somewhat more substantial).

Questions should now be asked about the sale of UltimateBet and Absolute Poker, given that the cheating was shown to have been ongoing from before the sale (October 2006) and that the individuals involved were shown to be linked to the company prior to the sale. With potentially multi-million dollar losses, fines, and refunds liable to be paid out there may be a case to be made against the previous owners.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Carl Jongsma

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?