Risk
7/2/2008
07:07 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

High-Tech Card Cheat Pleads Guilty

One of the devices used by the group was a wireless transmitter to anticipate the cards players would be dealt, according to a Justice Department indictment.

Between March 2003 and July 2006, the Tran Organization -- a group of high-tech card cheats -- scammed casinos around the country for about $7 million. On one occasion, they made $868,000 in about 90 minutes.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice said that Son Hong Johnson, one of the members of the group, had pleaded guilty to cheating casinos around the country. He is the 11th defendant to plead guilty out of 13 individuals named in an indictment returned on May 22, 2007.

One of the defendants, Han Truong Nguyen, was sentenced in May to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay $1,896,659 in restitution. The remanding defendants await sentencing. Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

According to the indictment, the group would bribe card dealers at casinos to create a false shuffle that returned a group of cards to the deck in a known order. This "slug" of cards enabled Tran members to anticipate the cards players would be dealt.

One member of the group would act as "card recorder" and would note at least some of the cards dealt during the course of play. "During mini-baccarat games, the card recorder usually would record the value of the cards on a paper form the casino provided to mini-baccarat players in the normal course of play," the indictment said. "In blackjack games, the card recorder would use a hidden transmitter or microphone and a cellular telephone to relay the order of the cards to an enterprise member or associate, who would enter the order of the cards into a computer program loaded with a specially designed card tracking computer program."

One of the devices used by the group was a wireless transmitter purchased from the Spy Shops of the U.S. and Canada. The indictment does not specifically name the device used, but it may have been what the site calls the wireless in-ear cellular communicator ($950), which is designed for covert communication.

The group didn't always win. Indeed, the indictment said that the group sometimes lost intentionally to deflect suspicion. In addition, members sometimes made mistakes in the execution of their scheme, resulting in losses.

Members of the group often cashed out with gambling winnings of less than $10,000 to avoid federal reporting requirements.

Still, they weren't careful enough. The indictment does not specify how the group was finally identified and caught, but it may have had something to do with an attempt to fleece the Imperial Palace Casino in Biloxi, Miss., that went awry.

In June 2006, one of the defendants attempted to bribe an undercover agent at the Imperial Palace. That's the sort of misstep that's likely to bring unwanted attention from law enforcement authorities.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-7298
Published: 2014-10-24
adsetgroups in Centrify Server Suite 2008 through 2014.1 and Centrify DirectControl 3.x through 4.2.0 on Linux and UNIX allows local users to read arbitrary files with root privileges by leveraging improperly protected setuid functionality.

CVE-2014-8346
Published: 2014-10-24
The Remote Controls feature on Samsung mobile devices does not validate the source of lock-code data received over a network, which makes it easier for remote attackers to cause a denial of service (screen locking with an arbitrary code) by triggering unexpected Find My Mobile network traffic.

CVE-2014-0619
Published: 2014-10-23
Untrusted search path vulnerability in Hamster Free ZIP Archiver 2.0.1.7 allows local users to execute arbitrary code and conduct DLL hijacking attacks via a Trojan horse dwmapi.dll that is located in the current working directory.

CVE-2014-2230
Published: 2014-10-23
Open redirect vulnerability in the header function in adclick.php in OpenX 2.8.10 and earlier allows remote attackers to redirect users to arbitrary web sites and conduct phishing attacks via a URL in the (1) dest parameter to adclick.php or (2) _maxdest parameter to ck.php.

CVE-2014-7281
Published: 2014-10-23
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in Shenzhen Tenda Technology Tenda A32 Router with firmware 5.07.53_CN allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that reboot the device via a request to goform/SysToolReboot.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.