Business centers are one of the core facilities that hotels advertise to their customers, even in this day and age when almost every business traveler is armed with their own laptop, tablet and smartphone. Then again business centers come in handy when you need to print or scan something. You might want to think twice before logging in to your email or any other work account for such a PC as the U.S. Secret Service has issued an advisory to the hospitality industry, telling them to inspect computers made available to guests in business centers.
In an attempt to steal personal information and financial data from guests who use business centers, crooks have been installing keyloggers in the PCs, the U.S. Secret Service says. A keylogger is malware which records any and all keystrokes so it will store and send any email addresses, passwords, PINs and other information in plain text format to the crooks.
This was a non-public advisory distributed to companies in the hospitality industry by the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. They’ve already arrested suspects in Texas who compromised computers in business centers of major hotels in the Dallas/Fort Worth areas.
The advisory lists several steps that hotels can take to ensure that their guests are not affected when they use their business centers. A little common sense will also take guests a long way, it wouldn’t hurt to avoid punching in any personal information on public computers.