Hackers of Dark Hotel Aim for Business Executives

Published Date : Nov 13, 2014

Criminals are utilizing hotel Wi-Fi networks to tweak devices of business executives and hack essential data of travelers with the wrong intentions of gaining access to company’s vital information. 

According to a new report from Kaspersky Lab, business executives are warned about this illegal activity and the so-called tricks of Wi-Fi use in hotels, also known as ‘dark-hotel’ activity. The dark-hotel is all about downloading malicious software that seemingly appears as a legitimate software update. Such an increasing number of illegitimate breaches have been reported by the firm in hotel guest security component, since last January.  
Dark Hotel places phony software content updates into devices on hotel guests’ computers which are generally tricked into downloading a Trojan file by the user. The updates certainly look like an origination from commonly used programs such as Google, Adobe, or Windows. However, once this phony software is installed, Dark Hotel’s software operates as a spy – transmitting essential user’s information such as personal information, passwords, and access to corporate network.   

Dark Hotel is like a plague spreading to more and more hotels. The manager of Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team, Costin Raiu told Wired that every day this activity is growing tenfold. 

Majority of the attacks have taken place in the Asian hotels says representatives in the U.S. Kaspersky who will not disclose names of the hotels but are working with law enforcement and victims of the hackers. 

The report also details that hackers are not systematically targeting business company executives but also government and agency officials. This entire act has extended beyond any private corporate interests.   

Some of the primary targets have been from Japan, India, and North Korea.  

The targeting of these hackers is clearly themed. They also target the defense industry base situated in the U.S. and many other important executives around the world belonging to economic development and investment sectors, told Raiu to Wired. 

Research indicates that Dark Hotel may have roots in South Korea. 

Nevertheless, the software security firm is clueless as to how hotels have been affected by these malicious activities and how the hackers gain access to the server. The report noted that many hotels require guests to enter their room number or name in order to log into the Wi-Fi network.  

Kaspersky has provided a comprehensive guide on cyber safety regarding high-level hotel guests. Some guests may prefer not to download any type of software while browsing the internet on a foreign server. A recommendation from Wired states that users should not update directly from a vendor site or a pop up. 

However, if that too has already been compromised by the Dark Hotel, one might not know just yet.