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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Pundit - Jeremy “Chipsteela” Menard- Hacked! Part II

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A blog of sorts, a story to be told, the true depth of poker is about to unfold:

When I left off I had just found out that the person who hacked into my email account had also found a way to hack into my computer allowing them to provide some information that they were actually me. When I logged out of this account I found that I was unable to get back into the new email address account that I had created in order to contact the sites after my original email was hacked. I then decided to make another account, but every move I made it seemed like this hacker was one step ahead of me. As soon as I made an account he instantly was able to take over it. I was really starting to panic, and a lot of the things I was doing were not thought out well and therefore were of no help.
My fiancé saw the struggle I was going through and decided to come to my rescue by contacting her brother who is very good with computers. He did some research and came to the conclusion that there was definitely some kind of virus on my computer, a keylogger virus to be specific. Apparently through this virus every keystroke that I was making would be sent to the hacker’s computer as well, which would explain how he was always a step ahead of me. Her brother explained that the best way to proceed would be to wipe out my entire hard drive through a complete system recovery.  I hadn’t had my computer for very long, so there weren’t very many important things on it that I needed to save. Also at this point I was willing to do almost anything to resolve this situation, so I went ahead and wiped out my whole system. Also while I did this he managed to regain control of my primary email address for the time being and change the password. Finally things were starting to look up.
Once I installed several forms of virus protection, and made sure that my computer was completely virus-free, I was able to undergo another very annoying task, proving that I was in fact who I said I was to all the sites. I could imagine that it got very confusing for security on all the online sites, after all I had contacted them from like 100 different email addresses in the past few days. Finally I decided to make an account outside of Gmail for security reason, and operate from that one completely. I also deleted all the old accounts I had made on Gmail just in case the hacker could still gain access to them. I again submitted proof of my identification in as many ways as possible. I think I even sent copies of my dental records. There was a lot of back and forth between the sites during this process, It seems insane that it’s not possible to get in contact with these online sites that we put large sums of money on by any other means except email.

After several days I was finally able to get support representatives to call me from both Poker Stars and Ultimate Bet, and after answering some questions that supposedly only I would know, including questions about the heads up match of the $50 rebuy tournament I had won the other day, I was able to start moving in the right direction. Keep in mind that this was all occurring during the WCOOP tournament series, so I was missing some of the greatest tournaments held online for the whole year while I was dealing with this.

Also I said I was moving in the right direction, they still weren’t giving me my accounts back yet. After about 72 more emails where I answered every possible question I could answer about myself, I was finally given the ability to log in and create new passwords for my accounts. I found that the balances on all my accounts were the same as the last time I had seen them, which was a huge relief since I had won that big tournament on Stars right before this all happened.

The only casualty from this situation was my Chipsteela account on Full Tilt, as I was forced to create a whole new account on there. Looking back, I really wish I would have gone with a sick name like SoccerMom09. I could have owned so hard with that screen name. The good news is that my new account runs pretty well, which I quickly found out when I won the first tournament I played on it, a $100r 6 max tournament for $24k. Sick brag, I know.

Now that you guys have heard my horror story, I’d like to provide some advice so that this doesn’t have to happen to you. First, I would definitely recommend that you always have an updated antivirus program on your computer. AVG is a great program that is available for download for free. Run these scans every few days, and make sure to update it whenever possible. Mine had lapsed several months ago, and I was too lazy to do anything about it.  Next, I would make sure to have a separate email account that you use only for poker. It may be a little bit of a hassle to have to log into a separate email account, but trust me it’s definitely worth it.
I would also make sure that you’re not using the same passwords for all your accounts that you use for all the other shit you do online. If they figure out one, then they can get into everything from there, then gg your identity.
Here is a very important one that sites have just recently introduced, add a secure PIN code that you have to input after you put in your password on each account. All sites provide this extra security as an option under their Security tab, and again though it may be inconvenient to have to type in another 7 keystrokes to get into your accounts each time, it’s more than worth it. Poker Stars also provides an RSA token that you can get from their store for a meager amount of FPPs. This device will come to you in the mail, and will display a pass code that changes every minute to provide the utmost security. I would definitely recommend getting a hold of one of these, there is nothing more secure out there. Basically if you’re not stupid like me, and are actually willing to take a few more seconds out of your day, you can have a secure account pretty easily. Trust me, though this may never happen to you, it definitely could and these simple precautions could save you a tremendous amount of problems in the future.
Read Part I

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