Thursday, May 24, 2012

FBI Issues Warning About Hotel Wireless Networks

Be Warned: Hotel wireless networks are wrought with security concerns. It makes sense that hackers would target hotel networks. Travelers are typically wealthier than the general population and have frequent need to monitor banking/financial accounts while on the road. And it's easy for hackers to gain anonymous access to hotel wireless systems, making any cyber crimes they commit virtually untraceable. A couple of good rules to reduce your risks when on the road: (1) Only use secure sites when entering personal data. Secure sites are those that begin with https instead of just http. All banking and financial sites are secure and begin with https. You can also login to Facebook securely by simply specifying https://facebook.com and you should always do so because hackers can gain a great deal of personal data by stealing your Facebook login and password. (2) NEVER EVER NEVER use the publicly accessible PCs that are in many hotel common areas for anything other than very casual web browsing. NEVER -- again NEVER -- enter any of your personal data or login names and passwords on those publicly accessible PCs. Don't even use otherwise secure sites because you can't be sure there isn't keylogging software installed on the PC that will record your keystrokes for the hacker to retrieve later.


Quoting the lead paragraphs from a recent story on networkworld.com: "The FBI today warned travelers there has been an uptick in malicious software infecting laptops and other devices linked to hotel Internet connections.

The FBI wasn't specific about any particular hotel chain, nor the software involved but stated: "Recent analysis from the FBI and other government agencies demonstrates that malicious actors are targeting travelers abroad through pop-up windows while they are establishing an Internet connection in their hotel rooms." Full article can be opened here.