Bluff Europe hit by cyber attack; poker players and websites should take notice

hacker-300x200Bluff Europe Magazine is apparently the latest poker website to fall victim to a hacker. A Google search of the site now comes with the warning that “this website may harm your computer,” so I do not suggest visiting the site until everything is sorted out.

On their Facebook page Bluff Europe Magazine explained to the poker community why the site has been offline for multiple days:

Attention Pokerheads! As some of you have noticed, the Bluff Europe website has been down for a few days now. This is because we have been infected with some rather tricksy malware. It didn’t help that our resident IT brain was on holiday either. But never fear – we’re currently working round the clock to get things up and running again, and we’ll get right back to uploading daily news and the best poker content as soon as possible! So you can get back to sleeping soundly. Lots of love, Bluff Europe x

While Bluff Europe is busy combating the cyber attack, PokerFuse.com ran a story on a new malware being touted on a Russian cybercrime forum that is specifically targeting poker players –there is no reason to believe that this new Malware is the one that set loose on Bluff Europe’s website at this time.

PokerFuse.com’s warning

In their article detailing this latest threat PokerFuse cautions players to take the necessary steps to protect themselves and their computers, and this same warning should be going out to online poker websites considering the current situation at Bluff Europe.

If you’re not sure how to best protect your computers or your website this is an area you should really study up on. For starters:

* Be very diligent in what you open whether it’s an e-mail, a social media post, or a Skype message

* Keep a close eye on your banking and credit card balances (you can also sign-up for credit alerts through credit score reporting websites, which also offer identity theft insurance for a couple bucks a month)

* Monitor your e-mail and social media profiles

* Make sure personal information like your birth date are not visible on social media

* Change your passwords regularly and use “Strong” passwords, not easily guessed words, names and dates

Daniel Negreanu hacked

Hackings in poker are usually the handiwork of a rogue player or group looking to compromise the computer of a high-stakes player and cheat them at the poker tables, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes players find themselves the victim of a hacker with little or no involvement in the poker community, as was the case with Daniel Negreanu back in early 2012.

Negreanu returned home after a busy tournament schedule to find his PokerStars account $50k light after his e-mail account had been hijacked by a hacker.

2+2 hacked; cleanup lasts weeks

Perhaps the most infamous cyber attack involving a poker website happened when the 2+2 poker forum was hit with a very nasty cyber attack in April of 2012. The attack on 2+2 was so systemic and thorough that it forced the popular online poker forum offline for multiple weeks, and had many players concerned that their personal details were compromised.

At the time 2+2 released the following statement:

On April 26th at approximately 11:20 AM pacific time, the Two Plus Two Forums were closed as a result of a hacker who has displayed the ability to access e-mail addresses and encrypted passwords. He also indicated the ability to decrypt passwords.

While it is unclear the extent of data to which he gained access, e-mail addresses and passwords on the Two Plus Two forums should be considered compromised. If you have used your 2+2 password on any other site, you are advised to change it.

For your security we are closing the forums until the breach is patched.

We hope to be back up as soon as possible.

There is still no telling how much information was stolen during this attack, but it seems to have quickly been forgotten by the poker community.

These are not isolated incidents

These are not isolated incidents by any means. If you talk to anyone who owns or operates an online poker portal or forum there is a good chance that they have been hacked at some point in time –not as severely as 2+2 or Bluff Europe’s appear to bed, but hacked nonetheless.

Other online poker forums and poker portals have faced the same types of attacks for a very simple reason; hackers go phishing for any type of usable data they can find, which makes affiliates and websites with poker forums prime targets. There is also a lot of disposable money in the poker community, and grabbing the details of even a single high-stakes poker player could be a seven-figure score.

 

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