A group of innovative Russians has discovered a way to hack slot machines and cash in big time.
The said Russians hacked their way to fortune by discovering the patterns behind the slot machine's pseudorandom number generators or PRNGs. This was made possible after the perpetrators got access to different slot machines thanks to Vladimir Putin.
According to reports, the Russians' illegal activities actually started years ago after Putin banned slot machines in 2009 to make life difficult for the Georgian mafia. The Russian crime group got to see what's inside the machines allowing them to figure out the PRNG patterns. The enterprising criminals also had a member deployed to a casino where he will use their camera phones to allow tech experts back in St. Petersburg to "look" at the machines. The phone will then vibrate indicating when the player should push the button and cash in.
The Lumiere Place Casino in St. Louis first noticed that something was wrong with a number of their slot machines back in 2014. For a couple of days in June of that year, the casino management noticed that the popular slot machines. On June 2 and 3, the machines gave away more money than they actually consumed. This happened despite no one winning any of the major jackpots. This occurrence is called a negative hold and as its name implies its nothing to look forward to.
Lumiere's management investigated the matter and discovered that a man, later identified as Murat Bliev of Russia, held his iPhone close to the game's screen. Bliev would spend a moment on a machine, move away for a while and return to play the said machine once more. Surveillance tapes show that he was successful on his return trip to the machine after performing some well-timed pushes on the button. He would have easily gotten away with it but his actions were repetitive as he moved to slot machine after slot machine. Bliev would eventually win as much as $1,300 after starting off with $20 to $60. In those two days, the Russian came away with almost $21,000.
After the discovery, details of the modus operandi was sent out to other casinos which later discovered that they too were duped using the same cheating tactics. However, the perpetrators were different in each case. This led authorities to look at the possibility of an organized crime group. Bliev and some of his cohorts were eventually busted but the hack is still prevalent simply because there is "no easy technical fix" for it.