Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Warning: Keyloggers Found In Hotel PCs Used For Stealing Guests' Log-in Information

In a non-public advisory distributed to companies in the hospitality industry on July 10, the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) warned that a task force in Texas recently arrested suspects who have compromised computers within several major hotel business centers in the Dallas/Fort Worth areas.

The advisory that was first discovered and reported on by KrebsOnSecurity reporter Brian Krebs  on Monday, explains that several PCs in the hotel's business centers had been infected with malware that steals passwords and other sensitive data from guests using those PCs.

Image via KrebsOnSecurity

“The keylogger malware captured the keys struck by other hotel guests that used the business center computers, subsequently sending the information via email to the malicious actors’ email accounts,” the warning stated. “The suspects were able to obtain large amounts of information including other guests personally identifiable information (PII), log in credentials to bank, retirement and personal webmail accounts, as well as other sensitive data flowing through the business center’s computers.”

“In some cases, the suspects used stolen credit cards to register as guests of the hotels; the actors would then access publicly available computers in the hotel business center, log into their Gmail accounts and execute malicious key logging software,” the advisory reads.

The report should serve as a serious reminder that while in some cases it may be necessary to use public PCs it's rarely a good idea to use them for anything more than casual browsing of websites. Even the most protected PCs can be hacked and/or infected given direct access and even when PCs are within eyesight of a business center employee, librarian, or other supervisor, it can still be easily infected and should be used with the most extreme caution! 

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