Greg 'Fossilman' Raymer's Stars Account Hacked; Funds Rescued
One enterprising but not-deep-thinking poker hacker learned a lesson on Sunday: The account of a high-profile poker player might have money in it, but messing with the account is very likely to be noticed.
2004 WSOP Main Event champion Greg Raymer was temporarily victimized by an account hacker who used brute force and repeated attempts to guess Raymer's Poker Stars password and gain access to his account on Sunday. The hacker than opened up several heads-up sit-'n'-go tournaments in larger amounts and began dumping the contents of the account into that of someone screen-named "Ikeyrson," apparently oblivious to the fact that Raymer's play is typically watched by dozens of onlookers every time he logs on to the Stars site.
Naturally, some of these onlookers recognized the bizarre chip-dumping as highly suspicious behavior, and contacted Stars security, who in turn contacted Raymer about the incident. Raymer, who had in fact player several promotional tournaments earlier in the day, had ventured off for some golf-range practice when he received several calls about the incident, from his wife and father in addition to the Stars rep.
Because of the very public way in which the theft was attempted, Stars was able to freeze the accounts and move the money back into Raymer's possession, as Raymer re-secured that account with a stronger password. The hacker had not yet had time to move the money into third-party accounts, which may have represented a more difficult challenge in having funds returned.
Raymer admitted in followups on a popular poker forum that he had not chosen the strongest possible password. Raymer also reported that Poker Stars was unable to identify the culprit to him, likely due to European laws regarding Internet confidentiality; this does not mean, however, that Stars wouldn't be pursuing the hacker through other channels. One forum poster inquired why the thief hadn't done a direct cash transfer into the second account; while it would have been a more blatant theft, it would have at least prevented the chip-dumping from being noticed by curious onlookers.
The incident may prompt Poker Stars to consider adding another security step to its login process, to prevent brute-force cracking of players' accounts. Should that change show up in the near future, it can be traced directly back to this hacker's fortunately unsuccessful efforts.