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Thread: Poker Mavens software hacked to allow superusing for shady operators

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Poker Mavens software hacked to allow superusing for shady operators

    Poker Mavens is an inexpensive piece of poker software which runs on Windows machines, and allows anyone with Windows and an internet connection to run their own poker room.

    Information is here: https://www.briggsoft.com/pmavens.htm

    It is used for a lot of real money "underground" poker rooms, which advertise themselves as safe and secure.

    PokerFraudAlert runs Poker Mavens software. That's what we use for our NoFraud Online Poker room, which you can find near the top of the screen on the "NoFraud Online Poker" tab. Our poker room is used only for play money and freerolls, so there's no way to lose or get cheated.

    However, it has recently been demonstrated to me that it is possible to modify Poker Mavens to allow anyone to be able to see all hole cards at the table!

    When I say "anyone", I mean that the person running the software has to install a file on the server, and then provide access to anyone he wants (himself, friends, etc) to this card monitoring tool. I was not given information on how it works from a technical standpoint, but it was demonstrated for me on a test Poker Mavens setup.

    Here are two screen shots.

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    This tool is being sold to those running Poker Mavens software as a way to cheat players!

    It is impossible for players to be able to tell if this tool is running or not. You should STOP PLAYING IMMEDIATELY on all real money underground poker rooms running Poker Mavens software. It is clearly NOT SECURE from tampering!

    I just saw this with my own eyes during this demo.

    To be clear, it does not appear outsiders can hack the Poker Mavens software, but that a tool exists for sale which allows INSIDERS to install a monitoring tool (similar to the one used on AP and UB) to see everyone's hole cards.

  2. #2
    I believe the RealGrinders promoted poker site "Fox Poker" runs on the Maven software. Isn't it?

  3. #3
    I am the owner of Briggs Softworks and the Poker Mavens software. I'd like to know more information about this installed "file" but everyone should know this: a poker site is only as honest as the people who are running it. The software is irrelevant in that regard. The site owner is running the software on their own hardware. Even if they don't have the source code, they still have access to debuggers, memory scanners, packet sniffers, and other reverse engineering tools that they can install on their server to spy on or manipulate the hand results. This is true for every poker site in the world, from my software to PokerStars and everyone in between.

    Kent Briggs
    Briggs Softworks

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    Diamond chinamaniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBriggs View Post
    I am the owner of Briggs Softworks and the Poker Mavens software. I'd like to know more information about this installed "file" but everyone should know this: a poker site is only as honest as the people who are running it. The software is irrelevant in that regard. The site owner is running the software on their own hardware. Even if they don't have the source code, they still have access to debuggers, memory scanners, packet sniffers, and other reverse engineering tools that they can install on their server to spy on or manipulate the hand results. This is true for every poker site in the world, from my software to PokerStars and everyone in between.

    Kent Briggs
    Briggs Softworks
    Bill? Stacie?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by KBriggs View Post
    I am the owner of Briggs Softworks and the Poker Mavens software. I'd like to know more information about this installed "file" but everyone should know this: a poker site is only as honest as the people who are running it. The software is irrelevant in that regard. The site owner is running the software on their own hardware. Even if they don't have the source code, they still have access to debuggers, memory scanners, packet sniffers, and other reverse engineering tools that they can install on their server to spy on or manipulate the hand results. This is true for every poker site in the world, from my software to PokerStars and everyone in between.

    Kent Briggs
    Briggs Softworks
    I s that really kent? Why do any 2 beat kk?

     
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      Crowe Diddly: inquiring minds want to know rep

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    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    I can confirm that Kent Briggs e-mailed me from a Briggsoft address, so he is for real.

    Kent, I am not blaming your software. As you said, if the operator of the room is dishonest, they can sometimes find exploits to write for the system.

    I was just informing people that, as of now, it is not safe to play on any Briggsoft real money rooms, as you do not know if this exploit is running, and it's actively being marketed to people. That's how I found it. They erroneously believed that I would be interested in buying it because I run a Briggsoft room.

    If you really would like to see the exploit from a technical standpoint, I can try to feign interest and purchase it. You would have to give me the money to do so, though.

    Let me know if interested.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I can confirm that Kent Briggs e-mailed me from a Briggsoft address, so he is for real.

    Kent, I am not blaming your software. As you said, if the operator of the room is dishonest, they can sometimes find exploits to write for the system.

    I was just informing people that, as of now, it is not safe to play on any Briggsoft real money rooms, as you do not know if this exploit is running, and it's actively being marketed to people. That's how I found it. They erroneously believed that I would be interested in buying it because I run a Briggsoft room.

    If you really would like to see the exploit from a technical standpoint, I can try to feign interest and purchase it. You would have to give me the money to do so, though.

    Let me know if interested.
    This royally pisses me off to say the least.. Weve had discussions about this crap on the support forum before and some asshole wanted to be able to see hole cards and wouldn't surprise me if the clown is the one behind it.. I can confirm I sent the email (like the same one sent to Druff around 4am on 2/6) to Kent to see if he saw anything questionable in the email as far as back tracking to a current forum user and he said it doesn't match anybody.. Doesn't mean its not one of the support forum users in fact I damn near guarantee it is.. Im also going to guess this exploit wouldn't work on PFA poker anyway as I believe BB is still running an older version (maybe the last iteration of PM5 I believe before Kent put out the big upgrade to 6.0) Im wondering if Kent could patch this crap quickly and break this shit but I agree this just created a major potential superuser issue with PM if some crooked SOB chose to do so..

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    Platinum ftpjesus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRANKRIZZO View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KBriggs View Post
    I am the owner of Briggs Softworks and the Poker Mavens software. I'd like to know more information about this installed "file" but everyone should know this: a poker site is only as honest as the people who are running it. The software is irrelevant in that regard. The site owner is running the software on their own hardware. Even if they don't have the source code, they still have access to debuggers, memory scanners, packet sniffers, and other reverse engineering tools that they can install on their server to spy on or manipulate the hand results. This is true for every poker site in the world, from my software to PokerStars and everyone in between.

    Kent Briggs
    Briggs Softworks
    I s that really kent? Why do any 2 beat kk?
    Yeah its really Kent that Im sure of.. I posted on the support forum over there because theres been zero mention of it and truth is those running the software need to know we may have an issue.. My concern even worse is somebody could hack into the server and plant this software through an remote connection to the server hosting and plant it and all they would have to do is then reboot the poker server software and voila.. Yeah this makes me wanna puke.. Ive spent time trying to get things set up to run my site and I feel like I just got kicked in the nuts royally.. I would never cheat anybody ever.. I was going to and still plan to run PM software until I can switch over to Enterras platform which I think is the best out there bang for the buck but I don't have the 10k or so I would need to get started.. (even paying them the maintaince fee to handle the SW/HW stuff which runs $1k/mo minimum but does offload IT worries and such still overhead for support and such isn't easy or cheap.. to outsource even remedial help its 1000 per agent per month for 24/7). It aint cheap if ya wanna be a mini Isai Scheinberg let me tell ya

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I was just informing people that, as of now, it is not safe to play on any Briggsoft real money rooms, as you do not know if this exploit is running
    You also don't know if an exploit is running right now on PokerStars, America's Cardroom, Seals with Clubs, etc. Just like nobody new it was happening at Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker, until they did. It's purely at matter of faith in the people who are running the site. In any case, no one should be putting money into any site that looks like a fly-by-night operation with no customer support and anonymous owners.

     
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      ftpjesus: Can’t disagree with ya there Kent.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    If you really would like to see the exploit from a technical standpoint, I can try to feign interest and purchase it. You would have to give me the money to do so, though.
    No, no one should give this guy any money.

  11. #11
    This is weird because I feel KBriggs isn't exactly being fair but this isn't fair to him. Just about all server software that you can run on your own could be hacked like this. The data will be put into a database in just about all these situations. It isn't that hard for a competent programmer to write this for any site. Just that when it is open source or whatever it that Maven is, you're going to get some shady dude somewhere that did this for some operator. Then why not resell the implementation?

    Now if there was like a flag in the software aka a backdoor was already written into the software, that'd be a totally different situation. That doesn't seem to be what is happening here.

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    Diamond chinamaniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBriggs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I was just informing people that, as of now, it is not safe to play on any Briggsoft real money rooms, as you do not know if this exploit is running
    You also don't know if an exploit is running right now on PokerStars, America's Cardroom, Seals with Clubs, etc. Just like nobody new it was happening at Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker, until they did. It's purely at matter of faith in the people who are running the site. In any case, no one should be putting money into any site that looks like a fly-by-night operation with no customer support and anonymous owners.
    It COULD be happening anywhere else. But it is happening on Mavens 100%

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    Quote Originally Posted by donkdowndonedied View Post
    This is weird because I feel KBriggs isn't exactly being fair but this isn't fair to him. Just about all server software that you can run on your own could be hacked like this. The data will be put into a database in just about all these situations. It isn't that hard for a competent programmer to write this for any site. Just that when it is open source or whatever it that Maven is, you're going to get some shady dude somewhere that did this for some operator. Then why not resell the implementation?

    Now if there was like a flag in the software aka a backdoor was already written into the software, that'd be a totally different situation. That doesn't seem to be what is happening here.
    PM isnít open source at all its anything but. Kent keeps a very tight lid on the source code and only sells the previous generation for a significant cost (IE heís offering up version 5s source code but itís like $5k). And I fully agree this is unfair to Kent to say the least. Itís even more so unfair to those who run a respectable honest site as it falls into question the potential for folks whoíve been known to use this just for small home games or whatnot to literally cheat on an epic scale and that should bother everybody. Like I said I hope Kent can put a crimp in this crap quickly.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by ftpjesus View Post
    Like I said I hope Kent can put a crimp in this crap quickly.
    I don't even know what the hack is. The guy obviously didn't contact me about it. Regardless, as long as people are allowed to run the software on their own server (and I have no plans to change that) any crimping would likely be temporary.

  15. #15
    Note that if the hack was a modification/injection of javascript into the client module, that could be easily be detected. Since the browser loads the entire client code, (even though it is compressed) a byte for byte comparison against a clean site running the same version would make the hacked portion stand out like a sore thumb. And if that code was passing decrypted hole cards to an external server then you know it's a crooked site. Also using a packet sniffer like Wireshark to see if the client was making external connections to anything other than the File Port or Packet Port of the poker server would also be an indication that something was fishy.

    On the other hand if the hack is simply a passive memory scanner that resides entirely on the server then there's no way to detect that. Other than how Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker was brought down where they got greedy and let their superuser win too much such that it defied statistical odds (if I recall that correctly).

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    Platinum ftpjesus's Avatar
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    Ok PFAers time to try figure out how this happened Kent has given us a few places to look as he mentioned. Druff time to put on that Comp Sci hat. Iím hoping This is one of the easier options as Kent mentioned. To me itís not just somebody having access in the server side to see the hole cards from what I gathered above that this crack allows the ability to see the cards turned on or off at will even based on specific users having access.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by KBriggs View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    If you really would like to see the exploit from a technical standpoint, I can try to feign interest and purchase it. You would have to give me the money to do so, though.
    No, no one should give this guy any money.
    It sounds counter-intuitive but the best way to combat someone profitiing off of this is to offer a smiliar tool for free or less than the current cheaters are charging.

    It might have a positive effect on your business as more scammers buy your software because they can use it to cheat their customers but ultimately if everyone has the ability to cheat, the reliable underground operators should flourish and the marketplace will kill off the scammers running your software.

    It sounds nuts, but making this tool available is way better than pretending like it doesn’t exist and letting someone else profit off your hard programming work.

  18. #18
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KBriggs View Post
    Note that if the hack was a modification/injection of javascript into the client module, that could be easily be detected. Since the browser loads the entire client code, (even though it is compressed) a byte for byte comparison against a clean site running the same version would make the hacked portion stand out like a sore thumb. And if that code was passing decrypted hole cards to an external server then you know it's a crooked site. Also using a packet sniffer like Wireshark to see if the client was making external connections to anything other than the File Port or Packet Port of the poker server would also be an indication that something was fishy.

    On the other hand if the hack is simply a passive memory scanner that resides entirely on the server then there's no way to detect that. Other than how Ultimate Bet/Absolute Poker was brought down where they got greedy and let their superuser win too much such that it defied statistical odds (if I recall that correctly).
    The "how" doesn't matter too much, unless Kent can figure it out (which is very tough without seeing it).

    The bottom line is that players on Poker Mavens have no way to tell whether that tool is running in the background. On freeplay rooms like the one here, there's little to worry about. On real money rooms, that's obviously a big problem. Any shady operator can be screwing you.

    BTW, I feigned interest and the guy wanted $10k for his tool.


  19. #19
    And the guys name is??????????

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    It sounds nuts, but making this tool available is way better than pretending like it doesn’t exist and letting someone else profit off your hard programming work.
    I care less about the profiting of the hacker. I'm more concerned about the scumbags who would install it on their own server to cheat their own customers. I'm not about to make that easier to do. It's bad for business and bad for the reputation of poker in general.

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