Most, if not all, of us have used hotel wifi networks when traveling. But are you taking steps to protect yourself when you go online? Many of us assume that since it’s a hotel network, then it’s got to be safe, right?
Now there’s even more evidence that they’re not safe (a theme we’ve reported on in the past).
Earlier this week, a new website called Cha Kai Fang containing personal information for thousands of guests of China’s major hotel chains has come online and is offering to sell this information to whomever wants it.
The information being offered includes guest’s names, telephone numbers, ID numbers, places of employment, and other relevant information. For a mere $300, you can allegedly download a file containing ALL of this private information.
How They Did It
Some Chinese journalists believe that this information came from Huidayi, a service that provides wifi services to Chinese hotels. Last week, a private security company released a report that showed that Huidayi had major security holes.
The simple truth is that most hotel wifi networks are completely unsecured. In fact, the risks associated with using a hotel network are much greater than using a wireless network at your home or office.
Recently, a group called TrustWave’s Spider Labs released a study which showed that hotel networks accounted for nearly 40% of security breaches. As bad as that is, what’s worse is that most hotels didn’t even know these breaches occurred for nearly five months.
So the lesson is, as always, whenever you access a public wifi network, make sure that you are encrypting your data with a VPN.
Because if you don’t take steps to protect your data, no one will.