SECurity FUNdamentals

The Great Hotel Hack: Adventures in Attacking the Hospitality Industry

Virtual October 21, 2020 10:10 am - 10:50 am Feedback     

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Etizaz Mohsin

Ever wondered if your presence has been exposed to an unknown entity even when you are promised full security and discretion at a hotel?

The hospitality industry is a target nowadays for cyber threats. Hotels present many opportunities for hackers and other cybercriminals to target them resulting in data breaches accessing not only credit card details but also guest data, including emails, passport details, home addresses and more. One of the most recent examples is the Marriot International data breach where 500 million guests’ private information was compromised. Besides data compromise, surgical strikes have been conducted by threat actors against targeted guests at luxury hotels in Asia and the United States. The advanced persistent threat campaign called Darkhotel infected Wi-Fi-networks at luxury hotels, prompted the victim to download the malware and thus, succeeded in specifically targeting traveling business executives in a variety of industries. For a broader look, a popular internet gateway device for visitor-based networks commonly installed in hotels, malls and other places that provides guests temporary access to Wi-Fi was examined.

To see how the guests and the hotels both have a serious stake in this, we will discuss the working of guest Wi-Fi systems, different use cases and their attack surfaces: device exploitation, network traffic hi-jacking, accessing guest’s details and more. Common attacks and their corresponding defenses will be discussed. This talk will contain demos of attacks to reveal how the remote exploitation of such a device puts millions of guests at risk.