Every business uses the internet. Especially franchised businesses with far flung operations working together to promote the brand. So, this latest Wi-Fi security warning is relevant to all of us.

Kaspersky Lab–one of the leading internet security companies–has issued an urgent security warning to business executives travelling to the APAC region. The concern is that there is an internet espionage campaign nicknamed “Darkhotel” targeting top US and Asian executives staying at luxury hotels.

Copyright: upixel123 / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: upixel123 / 123RF Stock Photo

The installation is very sophisticated. After logging into the hotel’s Wi-Fi network, the attackers trick the victims into downloading and installing a backdoor that pretends to be a update for legitimate software, such as Google Toolbar, Adobe Flash, or Windows Messenger. The malware installs a Trojan program, advanced keylogger and an information-stealing mode. These tools are used to capture system information, steal keystrokes and hunt for cached passwords. Kaspersky also found that the malware has been used to steal intellectual property from the victim’s companies. Most insidiously, once finished, the attackers carefully delete their tools and go back into hiding.

What can you do to protect yourself? As we have previously noted, being proactive is the best strategy:

  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) so that your communications are encrypted when accessing public or semi-public Wi-Fi (such as hotel networks).
  • Regard any prompt to update software when using a public Wi-Fi network as suspicious. Moreover, you should always confirm that the update installer is digitally signed by the software vendor.
  • Make sure your Internet security solution is proactive against threats, rather than purely defensive or basic anti-virus protection.

These steps will go a long way to protecting yourself and your brand from malware attacks.