The country of Malta is home to a number of online gambling companies and establishments. Luigi Auriemma and Donato Ferrante of ReVuln, a consulting company based in Malta recently conducted a review into online poker applications and the results revealed that a large number of these online poker applications have flaws in security and hence the players who use them could be placed in a vulnerable position as their personal and confidential information could be breached.
Luigi Auriemma and Donato Ferrante of ReVuln specifically studied poker clients that were being downloaded the most by players in order to play. The company focused on the vulnerability of the players while they were using these poker applications.
These software clients operate and communicate with “skins,” or online poker rooms that operate on gaming companies’ websites. The research revealed that if any one of these software’s have a vulnerability, it can affect multiple skins and millions of players that are connected to it.
In their report, Auriemma and Ferrante stated that
From an external attacker’s point of view, client software is interesting to analyse because it is the only part of the infrastructure which is fully available to an attacker.
This is not applicable to the entire gambling community as a number of players can play their favourite game online, without having to download any application. However, this is different when it comes to online poker, as most applications have to be downloaded as it improves the overall gaming experience and offers real-time data over specialized protocols.
These online poker clients come with a feature that notifies the users on a regular basis as to when they need to upgrade their software. However, the research noticed that most of these updates are being done without through proper Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption or having the authorized digital signatures.
Auriemma and Ferrante were also specific by stating that software made by Microgaming, a company that is located on the Isle of Man is open to a buffer overflow attack. A number of popular poker websites such as Ladbrokes Poker and Unibet have poker skins that access the software provided by Microgaming.
Playtech on the other hand ensures it authenticates digital signatures for executable files and dynamic link libraries. However, many of the other files that it installs can be tampered with, thereby allowing an attacker to redirect its users to a infected website. None of the companies mentioned were immediately available to provide an answer to the above research.