Getting Hacked This Week: You If You Stay at a Hotel, Probably


This Week in Getting Hacked: Robots Falling into Fountains Edition

cybersecurity news
07.21.17
Chris L

Welcome back to ‘This Week in Getting Hacked’—the world’s greatest cybersecurity-related link dump! Each week, we bring you the best news stories from the cybersecurity field, letting you know who’s getting hacked, who’s hacking, what data is leaking, and about what you should take with caution. So strap in, change your password, and let’s find out who’s getting hacked this week!

On to the links…

The Department of Homeland Security is about to start scanning everyone’s face on international flights, because that definitely isn’t a breach of privacy at all. According to the DHS, they won’t be retaining any facial scans of US citizens, but will still collect everyone’s facial scans and then sort out the American ones later on, in a weird Filter>Sort by> US Citizen type thing.

cyber security us government

This definitely doesn’t have the potential to backfire in a major way (he says, dripping with sarcasm).

In other government news, President Donald Trump said he had discussed forming a cybersecurity group with Russia, then said it wouldn’t happen, but now Russia is saying they are in talks to get the joint cybersecurity group formed. Just a quick tip: maybe don’t form a group dedicated to cybersecurity with the guys being investigated for hacking our elections? I’m just spitballing here, though.

If you’re wondering how everything is going in our nation’s capital, consider that a security robot throwing itself into a fountain is probably the most apt metaphor.

a robot drowning

In case you were concerned about Trump’s cybersecurity record, just know that his hotels were hit by a 3rd credit card data breach in 2 years. Maybe Russia can help with that. The problem is that many hotels still rely on the swipe method for credit cards, and typically don’t have the end-to-end encryption that comes with chip readers on POS systems.

Regardless, a hotel or hospitality service should still be aware that when credit cards are their primary source of transactions, that securing those transactions and that data should be a high priority.

Speaking of hotels (I’m so good at segues), be cautious about using the complimentary hotel Wi-Fi since hackers are using it to steal your data.

hotel wifi cybersecurity

“Hi, your data will probably be stolen. Have a nice stay!”

They use a series of phishing and social engineering to get your data, then infecting you with a Trojan and going from there.

The group that has been doing this targets luxury hotels with high-level corporate executives, so if you stay at like a Holiday Inn or a Motel 6 or (god forbid) a Best Western, then your mileage may vary. Just make sure you have two-factor authentication enabled and don’t be dumb if someone asks you for your passwords or other personal data.

And finally…

Bringham Young University is expanding its cybersecurity program to involve more women, including the return of the BYU Girls Cybersecurity Camp this week, now in its 3rd year. Teenage girls from 13 to 18 are learning valuable coding and cybersecurity skills, and using that to combat hackers, as well as competing in fun challenges like computer-based Capture The Flag and other activities.

That’s it for this week—stay safe out there!

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