Darkhotel targets hotel Wi-Fi networks
Security researchers discovered the flaw that can steal information and delete confidential data
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.
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