Hack­ers tar­get ex­ecs at ho­tels

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

WASH­ING­TON: Hack­ers have de­vel­oped a scheme to steal sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion from top ex­ec­u­tives by pen­e­trat­ing the wi-fi net­works of lux­ury ho­tels, se­cu­rity re­searchers said yes­ter­day.

A re­port by Kasper­sky Lab said the “Darkho­tel” es­pi­onage ef­fort “has lurked in the shad­ows for at least four years while steal­ing sen­si­tive data from se­lected cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tives trav­el­ling abroad”.

Kasper­sky said about 90 per­cent of the in­fec­tions seemed to be lo­cated in Ja­pan, Tai­wan, China, Rus­sia and South Korea, but the ex­ec­u­tives tar­geted in­cluded those trav­el­ling from the US and else­where.

“The more in­ter­est­ing trav­el­ling tar­gets in­clude top ex­ec­u­tives from the US and Asia do­ing business and in­vest­ment in the (Asia-Pa­cific) re­gion.”

The hack­ers are able to com­pro­mise ho­tel wi-fi net­works, and to then trick ex­ec­u­tives into down­load­ing ma­li­cious soft­ware that can al­low their in­for­ma­tion to be ac­cessed re­motely.

“Th­ese tools col­lect data about the sys­tem and the anti-mal­ware soft­ware in­stalled on it, steal all key­strokes, and hunt for cached pass­words in Fire­fox, Chrome and In­ter­net Ex­plorer; Gmail No­ti­fier, Twit­ter, Face­book, Ya­hoo and Google lo­gin cre­den­tials; and other pri­vate in­for­ma­tion,” the re­port said.

“Vic­tims lose sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion – likely the in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty of the business en­ti­ties they rep­re­sent. After the op­er­a­tion, the at­tack­ers care­fully delete their tools from the ho­tel net­work and go back into hid­ing.” – Sapa-AFP

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