PokerHost.com customers got quite a shock this week after logging into the site and being greeted by an FBI alert hoax. The site, owned by online sportsbook SBG Global, confirmed today the incident was a result of the site being hacked and not because it was seized by the FBI.
According to PokerHost.com management, on Tuesday there was a breach of security at a registrar level of the site. The account where the URL is registered, which handles all DNS, contact, and other information, was tampered with and changed without the consent of the legal owners of the account and URL.
When users went to the site, they were prompted to supply their personal information due to "unusual activity on their poker client," and upon completion an alert popped up on the screen saying, "Thank you for your cooperation. PokerHost.com has been caught taking illegal wagers for United States citizens residing in jurisdictions with laws prohibiting such activities. As well as these suspicious gambling activities, other charges include tax evasion and racketeering."
It went on to say, "Your data, including phone number, address and IP location, has been sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to check if gambling is legal in your jurisdiction. If you think you have been a victim of fraud or identity theft by PokerHost.com please contact your local chapter of the FBI."
A press release issued by PokerHost.com explained that users were being re-directed to a free hosting service located in Florida. The page they were seeing was just a regular html file that simulates a pop-up page.
"By looking closely at the code of the page we could see that it is just a regular page with a picture background of our front page and a form. As you have been able to see, on all these forums and posting sites, the current look and information of the site are completely fraudulent in nature. In essence, PokerHost.com's website has been hacked and hijacked," the release stated.