|Security firm reveils delicate WiFi in hotels.|
Thursday, 7th March 2013
Source : Roland Wildberg ~ Exclusive from ITB Berlin 2013
WiFi in hotels is often badly secured against data crime, a security firm has found out; to hack into a public wireless LAN frequently used by hotels, you only need a smartphone and a certain network analyze app which is available relatively easily.
The alarming aspect: The Steganos hacker did not visit some odd, no name or run-of-the-mill properties, but tested their wit on several renowned hotel chains. "It is incredible how simple it is to break into public WiFi", Steganos president Gabriel Yoran comments.
And this is how they worked: One agent did enter the WLAN with his note book, his opponent started the analyze tool app "dSploit". He was able to read and copy critical data such as the log-in and pass word of the test user, record complete Facebook sessions as well as private mails.
What makes the problem a little ticklish is that you do not need to be a software developer to perform the "dSPloit" hack, on the contrary it is an easy piece of work. The security gap will remain unless the exchanged data on air between the server and the customer's laptop is not coded.
Many hotel manager may believe they are out of the woods by adding a legal disclaimer to the WiFi usage GTC - and literally they certainly are right - but does this help the guest? Certainly not.
A rather sustainable strategy would be to install a code software - not necessarily that one Steganos does offer - on the server to ensure all data cannot be read during transmission - and communicate this pro-actively to the customer.
This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.
Roland Wildberg is Travel Writer and Correspondent based in Berlin, Germany. He started as an Editor for the National daily 'Die Welt' (tourism section), later on switched to a freelanced career and nowadays mainly publishes on the Web. Observing the hospitality industry always has fascinated him as it looks like the perfect combination of sleeping and writing – work-live-balance as its best.
Roland also heads the annual 4Hoteliers ITB Berlin news micro-site journalist and video/photo teams for the 5th consecutive year.