December 7, 2011 : But why shoot the messenger?
The ongoing row on the ability of an online poker data mining outfit to hack Bodog Poker‘s new player privacy software has resulted in a somewhat belated response from the company containing a surprising "shoot the messenger" element.
Attacking HHSmithy, which exposed the flaw, the poker provider closed the accounts of those associated with it like Kyle Boddy, noting that he was the marketing head of the company, the implication being that he had an ulterior motive in exposing the privacy flaw.
"It’s hard to say whether Boddy had altruistic reasons for looking for security weaknesses, like the people from the hacktivist group Anonymous who spend their time exposing government secrets to the public for the greater good of society. Or did Boddy have a more personal or opportunistic reason for trying to exploit the poker software?" Bodog asked.
"Kyle Boddy, KyleB in the 2+2 forums is the Chief Marketing Officer behind the hand-reselling site HHSmitthy.com. If you are unfamiliar with Boddy’s site, they exploit poker operators’ data without permission. They package the data and resell it to poker players for a handsome profit.
"These guys are precisely the kinds of people that Bodog does not want scalping their recreational poker players so this move by Boddy and his “friends” is helping Bodog out in a number of ways. Not only is this an example of a highly effective and entirely free volunteer QA system, but in putting the efforts into packaging this message in the way they are and releasing it to the online poker grinder community, they are likely helping Bodog drive away more of the undesirable predatory players from their ecosystem."
At the end of the day, the expose has undoubtedly had the positive result of making Bodog Poker sit up and pay attention, and address, its software shortcoming.
The nearest Bodog came to humility over the issue appeared to be the statement: "Obviously, any release has its teething problems and equally obviously we take any fault very seriously and we have released an update we are confident has addressed the most pressing issues. The input of poker players and software professionals since our launch has helped us make our system more robust and highlight how strong the poker community is."