Finnish Poker Pro Kyllönen's Laptop Infected With Remote Access TrojanDecember 12, 2013 3:56 pm
In January 2013, Finnish professional poker player Jens Kyllonen was honored with being named the country’s best poker player for the second time. Amongst Kyllönen’s accolades is $1,500,355 in live tournament earnings, including winning the 2009 EPT Scandinavian Open
for $1,120,815, as well as winning a further $4 million playing online cash games.
It’s no wonder, then, that the poker talent would then be targeted by criminal elements hoping to lay their hands on some of his poker bankroll. Consequently, in the latest bizarre incident of poker players having a close brush with the criminal underworld, Jens Kyllönen busted out early from the EPT Barcelona and when he returned to his hotel room discovered his laptop was gone. However, when he went downstairs and came back a little while later to the room, his laptop had suddenly reappeared.
Furthermore, his computerized room key wasn’t working properly, which turned out to be the result of criminals cracking his room’s electronic lock and tampering with his laptop. Consequently, a trip to the malware research firm F Secure soon confirmed every poker pros biggest nightmare, namely, a Remote Access Trojan (RAT) had been installed on his laptop via a USB memory stick and configured to allow an attacker to view anything that happens on the machine, including viewing his poker hands in-game.
Following the startling discovery, f-secure.com released an article on its website entitled ‘Sharking: High-Rollers in the Crosshairs’ in which it notes that Jen’s hotel roommate and poker pro, Henri Jaakkola, also had the same trojan installed on his laptop and that unlike usual online attacks, this time criminals had gone to the trouble of attacking the victims’ systems on site.
The article finishes by giving some important information on how to avoid your laptop being targeted by criminal elements, and notes: “If you have a laptop that is used to move large amounts of money, take good care of it. 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.”