Industry Update
Opinion Article28 June 2016

How hotels can protect 1 Mln EURO 2016 tourists against online threats?

By Mihai Enache, Marketing Director at CyberGhost VPN

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After months of preparations EURO 2016 has started. With 24 countries participating, it is the largest EURO Tournament both in terms of teams and in terms of foreign visitors expected to come for the event: over 1 million tourists.

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Although the main safety concern in France remains terrorism, it is important to keep an eye on the more usual threats that mainly target people's pockets. And, the silent and most efficient peril isn't pickpocketing or taxi overcharging but WiFi hacking.

Why? Because in just a few seconds, a hacker can gain access to the most personal information like name, social security number, usernames and passwords, credit card details or bank accounts without the victim even knowing something like this has happened.

According to Skycure (https://maps.skycure.com), there are over 100.000 unsecure WiFi hotspots around the world, with most of them being present in touristy locations like: airports, hotels, restaurants, bars, local attractions and yes, even stadiums.

And, just in France, there are over 10.000 persons each month documenting themselves on how to hack unsecure WiFis. (the number of searches made on Google for keywords like "hack WiFi").

How do hackers do it?

 

From a hacker's point of view, it is the perfect crime. The victim doesn't even know what is happening until he discovers that, for some reason, his bank account is empty because somebody bought different stuff using his money.

There are 2 types of attacks: The Man in the Middle and The Evil Twin.

  • The Man in the Middle Attack is made when a hacker gets between the device used to go online and the legitimate source the user is trying to reach (e.g. a website). This way, online thieves can see every unencrypted communication that happens while the traveler is connected to the Internet: email messages, credit card account information, user names and passwords, even security credentials for your work computer, if you log onto the network remotely.
  • The Evil Twin Attack is made when a hacker creates a duplicate version of a legitimate WiFi network with the aim of tricking users into using his fake network instead of the original one.

No matter the type of attack, if it is successful, the hacker gains access to all the online traffic an unsuspecting user is making.

How can hotels protect their customers and even gain revenue from doing so?

First of all, each hotel should make sure its WiFi network is adequately configured so that no hacker could ever crack it. A well configured WiFi network will prevent the man-in-the-middle attacks.

Still, hackers can easily use the 2nd type of attack: The Evil Twin. For this situation, the only way hotels can protect their guests is by recommending them to use a complementary VPN protection.

VPNs or Virtual Private Networks are mainly used to encrypt all data traffic made by a person on his laptop, smartphone or tablet. This way, even though the WiFi may be breached, all personal and financial data is safe – including usernames, passwords, credit card details, bank accounts etc.

Furthermore, any company working in the hospitality industry can gain new revenue by entering the Safe WiFi Project (link: http://www.cyberghostvpn.com/en_us/affiliate/offline-partners) – the first global project which aims to reduce to zero the number of persons that get hacked every day when using free WiFi hotspots.

Mihai Enache

Mihai is a marketing professional with over 9 years’ experience in different sectors such as retail, travel retail, e- commerce and IT. At CyberGhost he created the Safe WiFi Project: the first program through which any hospitality business can gain new, risk-free revenue from an online service.

    More from Mihai Enache

    About CyberGhost

    Founded in 2011 in Bucharest, Romania, CyberGhost is the creator of one of the world's most reliable privacy and security solutions in the world. The company secures and anonymizes the online presence of over 10 million users across the globe. CyberGhost defends privacy as a fundamental human right, being the first in the industry to publish a transparency report while building new user-oriented crypto-technology for the future.

    The CyberGhost team is currently formed of 50 professionals with a strong background in the IT field, based both in Romania and in Germany, the latter being responsible for most of the software development. With both teams united by a common credo for internet anonymity, CyberGhost is a major supporter and promoter of civil rights, a free society, and an uncensored internet culture.

    About CyberGhost VPN

    CyberGhost VPN establishes a 256 Bit AES encrypted connection to the CyberGhost-network. Here the online shown and clear recognizable IP address will be masked and replaced with an innocuous one. The Windows-Client is installed fast and is very intuitive. Also available is an iOS App and the support for the native protocols PPTP, L2TP/IPSec and OpenVPN; as well as a Mac and Android Client. For more information about CyberGhost"s products, visit http://www.cyberghostvpn.com

    About Lagardère Travel Retail

    A division of Lagardère International Group, Lagardère Travel Retail is one of the global leaders in Travel Retail, with over 4.500 duty-free & luxury, travel essentials and foodservice stores.

    With a presence of over 20 years in Romania the company is running a network of 230 news & convenience, gifts & souvenirs and foodservice stores, under different brands, of which the most established are Inmedio, 1 Minute and So!Coffee

    Safe WiFi Pogram Coordinator

    Mihai Enache

    Marketing Director

    [email protected]

    Media Contact

    Silvana Demeter

    PR & Communications Director

    [email protected]

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