The next time you travel, be extra cautious when logging into the hotel Wi-Fi. That’s because hackers have developed a new virus aimed at business travelers in an attempt to gain access to corporate information. The virus, called “Dark Hotel,” tricks travelers into thinking they need to download updates to their computer in order to access the hotel Wi-Fi system. If the hotel guest downloads the virus, hackers are able to install a key-logging tool which can allow hackers to access passwords and other private information within an organization.
According to CNBC, the most targeted business travelers by “Dark Hotel” are CEOs and high-level executives with access to a lot of information. Hackers are able to utilize Wi-Fi to determine how important certain business travelers are and are able to use their information to decide which travelers they want to target more readily. Hackers want as much information as possible, and once they have accessed the information they want, they remove their tools from the hotel Wi-Fi and disappear into the dark once more.
The hotel-related attacks have been generally located in Asia and Russia, but are starting to spread elsewhere. One of the main concerns, according to CNBC, is if the cyber attacks are backed by state entities. It has yet to be confirmed whether governments are actively supporting the “Dark Hotel” virus, it has not been eliminated from thought, either. CNBC notes many hotel chains in Asia and Russia have become targets for the virus, and it is not centralized among one hotel chain in one specific area.
As with any other computer virus, the best way to avoid it is to surf smart. Don’t just randomly download software unless you can guarantee it is necessary and from a legitimate source. If you are traveling and are unsure about a download to utilize a hotel’s Wi-Fi services, go to the front desk and ask if it’s really necessary. If you’re still unsure, try accessing the Wi-Fi without the download, and if you’re able to use it, just close the software download and don’t click on it again. Log into Wi-Fi systems the same way you travel: with light caution, but not full of fear.