Consumer Alert: Malware Threat at Hotel Business Centers

Business travelers must be on guard

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(Image: Thinkstock)

If you travel a lot, you might occasionally make use of the facilities at a hotel business center. However, security website Krebs on Security, says the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security recently issued a warning about a potential security threat.

Hotels in Texas were alerted by the government agencies, who reported that Texas law enforcement officers apprehended people who were said to be participants in data breaches affecting hotel business centers in areas including Dallas and Fort Worth.

The Houston Chronicle reports the Houstonian Hotel suffered a data breach that lasted six months between Dec. 28, 2013, and June 20, 2014. Roughly 10,000 people were affected.

Hotel industry managers are being warned to monitor computers that have been accessed by guests in their business centers. Fraudsters in some of these centers have been installing keylogger malware as a means to steal personal and financial data.

Your best bet is only use public computers for conducting a basic web search. Don’t do your banking or any other activity that could expose personal financial information.

Says Krebs on Security, “If you’re on the road and need to print something from your email account, create a free, throwaway email address at yopmail.com or 10minutemail.com and use your mobile device to forward the email or file to that throwaway address, and then access the throwaway address from the public computer.”

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