Posts Tagged ‘EPT Barcelona’

Jens Kyllonen, Others targeted in “Sharking” Scandal

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Three months ago, we covered an incident at EPT Barcelona where poker players’ laptops were compromised. If you don’t want to read the entire story, the jest of it is that certain players noticed their laptops were tampered with, then reported this to hotel security. Unfortunately, the security staff was less than helpful, leading the police to get involved.

Famed Finnish grinder Jens “Jeans89” Kyllonen was one of the players whose laptop was messed with. And seeing as how Kyllonen plays the highest stakes offered in online poker, he felt it necessary to hire a security company to sort through the matter.

According to F-Secure, Kyllonen’s computer was indeed tampered with. Seeing as how I’m not well-versed in techie babble, I’ll just let you have a look at what F-Secure wrote on the matter:

After a while, it was obvious that his hunch was correct, the laptop was indeed infected. 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.

The trojan is written in Java and uses obfuscation, but isn’t all that complicated. Since it’s in Java, the malware can run in any platform (Mac OS, Windows, Linux).

F-Secure added that they believe Kyllonen and other high stakes players are specifically being targeted by hackers. The company also managed to dub this criminal act “sharking.”

What saved Jeans89 from being sharked is the fact that he walked into his hotel room while the crime was taking place. Kyllonen was spooked when his laptop was missing, so he ran to get security. When he arrived with security, his computer had been put back, meaning the perpetrators may have been hiding in the room the first time he walked in.

In any case, it seems like he’s been lucky enough to avoid being ripped off. But that’s not to say that there couldn’t be another famous poker pro out there who’s the perps’ next intended victim.

Hot Poker Player Hana Soljan reveling in EPT Barcelona Win

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Much like poker babes Vanessa Rousso, Tatjana Pasalic and Christina Lindley, Hana Soljan is quickly finding herself as eye candy to the poker world. And her poker fame has only increased following a recent victory at the 2013 EPT Barcelona.

While playing in the €330 buy-in Ladies NL Hold’em event, the Croatian babe topped an 86-player field. She received a €6,880 ($9,203) payout for the victory, which isn’t going to blow anybody away. However, it marks Soljan’s eighth career cash and brings her tournament winnings up to $37,479.

Following the victory, Soljan discussed how the win means a lot because it comes shortly after Full Tilt Poker signed her to a sponsorship deal.

“To be a part of the Full Tilt team is a dream come true for me,” she said. “They chose to sponsor a player who they believe in and (have given) me the opportunity to win some big titles. It is hope for lots of players in the world – and every win is not just mine, it is for the team, and that is the best part.”

She continued by talking about how other women can experience success in poker tournaments. “My best advice is to start with ladies tournaments in live poker and small buy-ins with lots of players online – and be confident and brave. We can do it as well as they do, if not better.”

Away from the tables, Hana Soljan has done quite a bit of TV presenting work in Eastern Europe. And this is another big reason why she landed a Full Tilt sponsorship deal because she can give interviews on the Eureka Poker Tour. As her career advances, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing Soljan on TV more and more.

“Operation Zombie” busts Hacker who stole $600k from Online Gamblers

Monday, September 16th, 2013

For over a year now, a number of online gamblers have been terrorized by a hacker who was stealing up to $50,000 a month. But Argentinian police may have finally brought an end to this nightmare after busting a 19-year-old hacker whose dad is an IT engineer.

The hacker’s operation began when he sent out a malware virus that hit people when they were downloading online poker and casino software. The teenager would then use denial of service attacks (DDoS) to lock people out of their accounts while he stole their money. The DDoS attacks were supported by thousands of “zombie” computers that flooded payment platforms.

Online poker and casino players weren’t the only ones targeted because a businessman who owned a web hosting service also reported being victimized. He went to police after hackers kept intercepting money transfers that were intended for his web hosting site.

Police then launched “Operation Zombie” and began working to uncover the hacker. As Buenos Aries Chief Prosecutor Graciela Gils Carbo explained, Argentinian police concluded that the same person who hacked the businessman was also behind the online gambling cyber thefts. Authorities also discovered that six other people were involved in the criminal network.

But the unidentified 19-year-old is the headliner here since he allegedly did most of the damage. The only details on the young man is that his father is an information systems engineer. In all, police believe that the hacker and his cohorts stole around $600,000 from victims.

What’s disturbing about this incident is that it comes just a short while after poker players at EPT Barcelona reported their laptops being compromised. Jens Kyllonen broke the news by saying that somebody kept breaking into his room and taking his laptop, possibly to install a Trojan virus. Hotel security was of little help, so Barcelona police are looking into the matter right now.

EPT Barcelona Players fear their Rooms and Laptops were Compromised

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Just yesterday we discussed some news from EPT Barcelona regarding how Daniel Negreanu got upset over the “first card rule.” Now a new story might even top this since it involves breached hotel rooms, compromised laptops, and a possible inside job.

The reports started this morning when high stakes poker pro Jens Kyllonen discussed a scary ordeal on TwoPlusTwo. His keycard wouldn’t work on his hotel room at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona. So he spoke to reception, and they synced his card, thus allowing him to enter.

But Kyllonen discovered another problem when his laptop was missing from the desk. After asking the cleaning ladies if they moved it, the women said no and he was puzzled. So the Finnish pro went to talk to his friend, Henri, who also didn’t know anything about the laptop and couldn’t enter the hotel room with his card either.

When Kyllonen returned to the room, he found that his laptop had reappeared, which freaked him out because the person could’ve been hiding under the bed or somewhere else in the room. After running down and speaking to guest relations, Kyllonen was told that the cameras in his section weren’t working. His laptop then went missing again, and was later found in the lobby.

Long story short, Hotel Arts gave him the runaround and seemed to be more interested in hiding the whole incident rather than solving it. Additionally, the PokerStars staff was unable to convince the Hotel Arts staff to help out much. Kyllonen would later find that another player had his laptop stolen too.

It’s unclear exactly what the reason for stealing poker players’ laptops and putting them back in the room was. But popular speculation is that hackers were taking the computers to install Trojan viruses and uncover passwords and other sensitive information.

At this point, the Barcelona police have gotten involved and are trying to determine who the perpetrators were in this crime. Based on everything that was going on with the keycards, lack of security cameras and clueless cleaning ladies, an inside job can’t be ruled out in this instance.

Daniel Negreanu quits EPT Barcelona after Controversial Ruling

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Having been playing live poker tournaments since 1998, Daniel Negreanu knows quite a bit about how they’re run. And he certainly wasn’t happy with how the EPT Barcelona High Roller was run. In fact, KidPoker got so angry that he stormed out of the tournament after basically giving up.

The controversy started when Negreanu was allegedly not in his seat when the first card of a hand was dealt. The dealer then called for the “first card” rule, which says that players must be in their seats when the initial card is dealt, otherwise their hand is dead.

Thinking that the rule was being enforced a little too strictly, Negreanu got angry about the matter and the tournament director was called over. The TD upheld this decision, which meant that the hand was indeed dead. What ensued involved Negreanu going all-in on the very next hand, busting out, then storming off in a rage. Afterward, he tweeted the following:

– The first card off the deck rule is so poorly enforced it makes me not even want to play! So absurdly anti player and customer service!

– I put my small blind in and was standing next to my chair. Dealer kills my hand immediately. So I just literally quit the tourney lol

– I was 100% aware of the rule and did NOT break the rule. It was ruled 100% incorrectly by the TD because the rule is absurdly stupid.

After cooling down for a while, Negreanu expressed his concerns about the first hand rule through a blog post. One excerpt from his post reads as follows:

I stood up from my chair to stretch my legs a little bit, threw in my ante and small blind awaiting the next hand. Obviously since I threw in my chips on my own, I was directly behind my chair. My friend at the table next to me said hello, so I looked over at him and said hello back. I moved maybe 12 inches to the left, still very much in arms reach of my chair. I was actually, in the moment, very conscious of the rule and knew it was important to not walk away from the table as my hand may be killed.

When I turn my attention back to the table the dealer scooped in my cards. I at first politely explained that I was standing right at my chair and my hand is live. The dealer argued that it wasn’t.

Assuming the five-time WSOP champ was indeed stretching, then this incident sounds like it was enforced a little too strictly. Of course, we only have Negreanu’s word to go on at this point. It would be interesting to hear the dealer’s side of the story.

Nevertheless, it seems as if the first card rule is quite unpopular across the board. Jason Mercier also tweeted in Negreanu’s defense by saying that they’ve both been trying to get the rule removed ever since it was implemented.