A new alert sent out last week by the Internet Crime Complaint Center warns that criminal hackers are targeting hotel wi-fi in order to access bank account, credit card and password details of travellers.
The Sunday Times reports that data-mining programmes are being hidden in innocent-looking pop-up windows disguised as a software upgrade. When unwitting hotel guests accept the upgrade, hackers are given access to all their confidential data.
Cyber-security specialist Trustwave says that chain or franchise hotels are especially vulnerable as many have standardised computer systems, meaning that any deficiencies in security will be duplicated in every hotel within the franchise.
Last December, American officials revealed that Chinese hackers had found a way into wi-fi networks operated by iBahn, which lists Marriott and Jumeirah among its hotel clients. The attack was focused on stealing sensitive commercial information from business guests.
However, evidence suggests that cyber criminals are now targeting general travellers' computers to find credit card details.
As a result, the FBI recommends rejecting all software upgrades when you're away from home.
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