Published On: Wed, Nov 12th, 2014

Travelers Beware of DarkHotel Malware


A new threat to travelers is lurking in hotels around the world. Nicknamed “DarkHotel, ” a form of malware has been infecting the mobile devices and computers of business executives when they log onto a hotel’s WI fi network.

Once a traveler has connected to a hotel’s internet he or she is then offered a “special package” from the hackers that supposedly came from the hotel itself. These packages offer software updates and other programs which are actually spyware.

The malware works by recording all of a victim’s sensitive information including their passwords. The information can be personal or used to hack into a company’s systems.

It began in 2007 and was mostly active in Asia. But recently the threat has spread to the United Sates as well.

The hackers clean up their work by deleting all traces of it from a victim’s computer once they have gotten what they need. They also never go after the same person more than once. In this way the hackers have been able to cover up their tracks.

Until now that is. The Kaspersky Lab Global Research and Analysis Team has just released a report about DarkHotel.

“For the past few years, a strong actor named Darkhotel has performed a number of successful attacks against high-profile individuals, employing methods and techniques that go well beyond typical cybercriminal behavior, ” said Kurt Baumgartner, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

“This threat Relevant Products/Services actor has operational competence, mathematical and crypto-analytical offensive capabilities, and other resources that are sufficient to abuse trusted commercial networks and target specific victim categories with strategic precision.”

“The trick is that the Wi-Fi infrastructure is being leveraged to find and target high-value executives from companies that present commercial interest to the attackers, ” Costin Raiu, director of the global research and analysis team at Kaspersky Lab, told CNBC

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