Hotel guests around the world have come to expect 24x7 Wi-Fi access, but don’t often think about the fact that they are vulnerable to Wi-Fi attacks that allow hackers to eavesdrop on network traffic and steal sensitive data.
Today’s known Wi-Fi threat categories include Rogue APs, Rogue Clients, Neighbor APs, Ad-Hoc Connections, Misconfigured APs and Evil Twins. Of those, the Evil Twin attack is especially nasty; it’s easy to perform using legal Wi-Fi hacking tools and there are even YouTube tutorials showing how to pull it off. Since security hasn’t been a priority among traditional wireless vendors and standard-setting organizations, most Wi-Fi networks are still vulnerable to these attacks, even though several of them are quite old and well-known in security circles.
In fact, WatchGuard engineers have tested Wi-Fi security in the field at airports, restaurants and hotels around the world to get a sense of the scope of the problem. The results did not inspire confidence. Here’s an excerpt from a WatchGuard guest column for Hospitality Technology explaining the findings:
“WatchGuard tested the security of public Wi-Fi hotspots against Evil Twin attacks at more than 45 locations across five countries, including 12 hotels and 13 airports. Only four locations (9%) had adequate protection in place against Evil Twin attacks and of those, no hotel passed the test. The four locations that did pass were located within the United Kingdom. All other failed test locations were at well-known retail, restaurant, and transportation brands located in the U.S., Germany, Brazil, and Poland. The problem isn’t with any one specific vendor or hotel/restaurant chain – it’s an issue across the hospitality industry overall. This security testing research is continuing with more worldwide locations, and there are plans to collaborate with brand owners to test for the other additional five Wi-Fi attack categories.”
Read the full article in Hospitality Technology to learn more about these attacks and some of the ways hotels can protect their guests from them. Learn how WatchGuard can help solve this problem here and read more about Wi-Fi security standards here.