New Software Could Peg Online Player DNA

Published on: March 6, 2008 

Online poker players do not have the luxury of being able to see their opponent’s faces, a trick many use when playing poker to decide which way to go with their hands.  They cannot tell if their opponent is bluffing unless they have played against that particular opponent before and know their particular style.  Now, online poker players may very well get that chance.  New software is being developed in an attempt to stop fraud against online poker site according to the magazine New Scientist Tech.

Online casinos and poker rooms are becoming targets for phishing attacks, a problem many websites are experiencing as hackers attempt to gain personal information on people to use for their own means.  These attacks are blatant attempts to steal other’s identities and they are being launched via e-mail.  These e-mails are supposedly coming from legitimate casino and poker websites, but in reality they are from hackers who are attempting identity fraud.

Successful hacking attempts have shown that the perpetrator of the crime somehow manages to gain access to player’s bank rolls.  Once they have made it into the account, they steal the money by losing it in poker games by betting against themselves or their accomplices as they take on the player’s identity.  There have also been fraud attempts that use software agents – commonly known as bots – that automatically play against the criminal.  The criminal allows themselves to lose and then they collect the money from the bots account at a later time.  Only the truly advanced poker players have been able to beat these fraudulent opponents.

The new software that is being produced will monitor how a member of a particular casino or poker room plays, from the wages they make to the many different facets of each game.  It will track how often a player will bet, how much they bet, when they raise the bet, hold or even fold, if it is a card game.  All of this information is then bundled together in what is being referred to as the player’s ‘gambling DNA’.  This ‘DNA’ is then used to confirm the player’s identity.  The software is being developed by Roman Yampolskiy of the University at Buffalo in New York, and Dr. Venu Govindaraju, his colleague.

According the inventors, any play deviation by the websites member will be considered suspicious and then flagged so that the moderators of the sites can go in and investigate it at a later time.  So far the program has been able to authenticate a player at eighty percent accuracy after only an hours worth of play time.  That percentage rate goes up the longer the player plays and feeds the new software with information.  This method of fraud detection will work well with players who deviate little from their game, but most advanced players are never quite that predictable, which could cause potential problems if the program does not allow for some deviation.

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