Darkhotel targets hotel Wi-Fi networks

Security researchers discovered the flaw that can steal information and delete confidential data

Flaw fix

A flaw has been discovered that targets hotel visitors, allowing hackers to view and even delete personal data residing on their computer.

Darkhotel, which has apparently been active for four years, was uncovered by researchers at Kaspersky and allows hackers to spy on the user after they've entered their hotel room number and surname. It prompts the unsuspecting visitor to download an update for seemingly legitimate software such as the Google Toolbar, Adobe Flash or Windows Messenger and then accesses everything on the user's computer.

Recording keystrokes and hunting for cached passwords in Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer, it can also get sensitive login information for Gmail Notifier, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google.

Darkhotel targets high-volume internet users such as business people, with the aim of gaining access to sensitive organisation data in addition to personal data.

"For the past few years, Darkhotel has performed a number of successful attacks against high-profile individuals, employing methods and techniques that go well beyond typical cyber criminal behaviour," said Kurt Baumgartner, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

"This threat actor has operational competence, mathematical and crypto-analytical offensive capabilities, and other resources that are sufficient to abuse trusted commercial networks and target specific victim categories with strategic precision."

The majority of such cases have happened in Asia, with business people in Japan, Taiwan, China, Russia and South Korea the prime targets. However, 10 per cent of the attacks happened in the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Kazakhstan, South Korea, the Philippines, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Belgium, Serbia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Greece and Italy.

Baumgartner said the mix of both targeted and indiscriminate attacks is becoming more and more common, so even if you aren't a seasoned traveller, you may also be targeted when travelling abroad.

Featured Resources

BCDR buyer's guide for MSPs

How to choose a business continuity and disaster recovery solution

Download now

The definitive guide to IT security

Protecting your MSP and your customers

Download now

Cost of a data breach report 2020

Find out what factors help mitigate breach costs

Download now

The complete guide to changing your phone system provider

Optimise your phone system for better business results

Download now

Recommended

Defense Dept. expands vulnerability disclosure program to all publicly accessible defense systems
ethical hacking

Defense Dept. expands vulnerability disclosure program to all publicly accessible defense systems

5 May 2021
Security researchers take control of a Tesla via drone
ethical hacking

Security researchers take control of a Tesla via drone

5 May 2021
Best free malware removal tools 2021
Security

Best free malware removal tools 2021

5 May 2021
Acuant acquires identity verification provider Hello Soda
mergers and acquisitions

Acuant acquires identity verification provider Hello Soda

4 May 2021

Most Popular

16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

29 Apr 2021
How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

30 Apr 2021
Dell patches vulnerability affecting hundreds of computer models worldwide
cyber security

Dell patches vulnerability affecting hundreds of computer models worldwide

5 May 2021