This post reveals how highly sophisticated poker cheating tools operate in the real world.
In 2015, I came across a thread in an underground forum discussing how a very sophisticated poker cheating system ripped someone off at a poker table. From what I understood at the time, the post being in Chinese, the computer has been able to read card markings remotely to warn the cheater who is going to win the next game.
Intrigued, I wanted to follow this amazing device's trail to see if people were actually cheating poker using devices that would work in a James Bond movie naturally.
Without spoiling too much of the rest of this story, let's just say that the high-end hacking tool that I've been able to get my hands on far surpassed my expectations and it's really an outstanding piece of technology.
In reality it's so sophisticated and interesting that we wanted to do a Defcon talk about how it works with Celine and Jean-Michel, my co-conspirators. You can watch our talk record below and catch the slides here:
Before delving into the device's inner workings, here's a brief demo of it in action to show you how quick and accurate it's when reading cards remotely. Remember that I made a decent shuffle, and randomly drew the cards. No sleight of hand was involved.
Acquiring the device
Seeing a few more posts on English forums persuaded me that those devices were real and gave me some idea of what I was looking for. I was able to find several possible online sellers like the one shown in the above screenshot.
The problem with all the sellers I found was that the price was very high ($5000!), with very little explanation of how the system worked. If I hadn't been sure that the system worked, I'd think that it was a scam.
Inspecting the device's few screenshots available on reseller websites, helped me to find out who was the device's manufacturer: a factory located in China.I wanted to take my chances, and directly contact them.
After a few rounds of negotiation, thanks to the aid of my Chinese contacts, I was able to acquire the unit, some accessories and a few marked decks for around $1300. Although still pricey, it was still way cheaper to go straight to the product maker than the online re-seller and it ensured that I got the real deal. That is, after I had made a leap of faith and sent them the money through Western Union:)
When I ordered the poker cheating system I expected to get a dedicated piece of hardware which looked like a fake phone, based on the screenshots I had seen early on. To my surprise, however, the computer displayed in the above image much surpassed my standards by being a completely working phone dedicated to cheating with extra hardware. To my surprise, the system not only allows you to cheat at Poker, it also allows you to cheat at almost any form of card games you may think of.
The biggest benefit of using a modified phone as a cheating tool is that it is difficult to claim it is a cheating tool, unless you know what to look for. It is also a good smartphone, capable of making phone calls and running all the applications you want.