Word’s been getting around for the last several days about the potential for wifi hacks at hotels and convention centers around the world that could have a serious impact not only on hotel property operations but also on individual guests. This article explains the situation in comprehensive detail with a good deal of technical language but here are the basics:
- It’s a very serious threat for wifi users at many hotels and conference centers that use a particular brand of wifi router in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Singapore, the U.A.E. and elsewhere.
- The threat to property networks mostly affects the ability of hackers to potentially access the property management system which operates different aspects of the facility, manages room and material goods inventories . . . plus codes the room access key cards and manages individual guest payments. The threat to guests’ computers is more generalized and typical: you think you’re on a safe wifi network but you’re not and your files and computer are both subject to unauthorized access, corruption, etc.
- The potential damage to both guests and hotel property management systems – including the ability for hackers to reprogram key card access thus allowing illegal entry into guest rooms – is significant.
- How to protect yourself? When you book regular travel, find out if the individual property you plan on visiting uses the particular types of routers mentioned here, several models of InnGate routers made by Singapore’s ANTlabs. If you can’t find out or don’t have a choice on where to stay, limit your exposure by limiting your access. Better safe than sorry. And always, always use all three door locks when you’re in your room, report anything suspicious and don’t ever enter your room if you suspect something is amiss.
- At the very end of the article, you’ll see that the router manufacturer released a patch last Thursday – which I found here – to hopefully fix the issue.
The chances that you’ll be affected by the issue before the issue is corrected is fairly remote but still – reprogramming key cards to allow illegal access into your room? It gets your attention.
The next Association of Contingency Planners Webinar Series Blog is “An ACP Webinar – Active Shooter: How Do Your People Respond In Your Workplace?” on Tuesday, April 7th at 11:30 Eastern, 10:30 Central. As always, these webinars are educational, interesting, relatively short, free and you don’t have to be a member of ACP to attend. For more information and to register click here. Register even if you can’t attend so that you’ll receive the link to the recorded version afterward.
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