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Hotel hacks ‘indicative of evolving threat'

Hotel hacks ‘indicative of evolving threat'
Tuesday August 16 2016

The recent spate of cyber attacks on hotels is indicative of an evolving threat around mobile devices

That's the view of Tenable Network Security malware research analyst Ken Bechtel after 20 hotels run by HEI Hotels and Resorts, including Hyatt and Marriott, were hit.

He said: “Mobile devices have become one of the largest growing threats for malware, and storing credit card data in various e-wallets, and in some cases apps, such as those used in fast service coffee shops, provides a
lucrative target for profit-driven malware authors.

"However, we often forget that the consumer is at a distinct disadvantage when dealing with POS malware, as this threat is beyond their control. While card holders can help protect their accounts by watching for skimmers, keeping their card within sight while paying bills and checking credit card statements for fraudulent activity, once a POS system is compromised there is nothing the user can do to prevent the activity. It’s the responsibility of the organisation to detect anomalies in credit card transactions and then take ongoing steps to prevent and remediate potential malware threats.

Bechtel believes that many companies struggle to keep up on security due to staff shortages, or a lack of proper tools to look for and identify abnormal network activities that could indicate a new piece of malware on the network. 

He added: “Although one-hundred percent prevention is unrealistic, having complete visibility into the overall security posture will help organisations lessen the risk of exposure to customers and detect vulnerabilities earlier."

Tagged as: Hotels | cyber security | HEI Hotels | Hyatt | Marriott | Tenable Network Security