Negreanu Skewers CEREUS Network for Security Lapses

by Lou on June 4, 2010

Kudos to Daniel Negreanu for continuing to address the problems with the online poker site that hosts UB and Absolute Poker, the CEREUS Network.

Negreanu is quoted on his blog as saying, “The Cereus Network, or UB/Absolute got hacked again! Just boggles my mind that anyone would want to support that company after what’s happened, but man, you’d think they’d actually focus intently on their security since they’d be under a microscope. Apparently, from what I’ve heard, in order to crack their software all you needed to have was a Windows calculator! That’s unreal.

“About 10 years ago when the company was created I walked away from them because of Russ Hamilton’s involvement. He had a checkered past, and wasn’t trust worthy at all. I wanted no part of it and walked away, never having done a deal with them ever.

“This company is just a bad apple in our poker community and I couldn’t imagine supporting them in any way. I said this 10 years ago, and since then I’ve only been proven correct by the huge scandal, and then again recently when they were aware of the security hole, but chose to keep the site up and running. If you know your software can be easily hacked, isn’t that the precise moment where you shut down for maintenance and fix the issue?

“There may be new ownership trying to ‘right the ship’ but how is anyone to know who’s been let go from the company and who’s still there from the days of the scandal?

“Feels like one of those fool me once shame on you, fool me twice same on me situations. I realize that there are loads of players who wear their patches and endorse the site, but I just haven’t heard any of them explain to me how they justify that endorsement in light of what happened in the past, and then what’s just happened recently? Are you really OK with how this recent issue was handled?”

Negreanu’s post was in response to a recent security flaw at CEREUS that potentially allowed hackers to gain control of a user’s account and view their hole cards in real time. Moreover, it took CEREUS over one week to deploy a permanent fix for the issue. What’s worse is that CEREUS continued operations during the lag, a time when a published security flaw still existent on the network. This left many players wondering why CEREUS didn’t close their network temporarily, until the problem was fixed.

An initial attempt by CEREUS to correct the problem was quickly found to be insufficient, resulting in a delay of several days before a proper fix was released.

CEREUS continued operations during the lag, a time when a published security flaw still existent on the network. This left many players wondering why CEREUS didn’t close their network temporarily, until the problem was fixed.

I’d like to see the three most prominent pros who endorse this site, Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, and Mark Seif, to speak out on this issue. It’s about time, don’t you think?

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