Cybersecurity is an increasingly important focus for businesses, especially considering the potential damage which can be inflicted by competitors stealing information.
According to Kaspersky, business executives and travelling professionals are high-priority targets for cyber espionage, as they have access to sensitive information.
These high-priority targets should be especially careful when travelling and should take precautionary measures to prevent the theft of data.
Kaspersky focuses on improving IT security and combating cybersecurity threats, and it has stressed the importance of keeping your data and devices safe while travelling.
“Keeping with the example of hotels and business travellers, there are numerous potential sources of danger on such trips that managers should be aware of,” Kaspersky said.
These threats and the measures you can take to detect them are outlined below.
The 2014 “DarkHotel” campaign uncovered by Kaspersky showed that guests in luxury hotels had been spied on for years via a compromised Wi-Fi network.
“Over 1,600 guests in 42 rooms at 30 smaller South Korean hotels were also spied upon with miniature cameras up until early 2019,” Kaspersky said.
“Unfortunately, the secret use of cameras – for example in women’s toilets – appears to have become common across the country.”
To help combat the potential threat of cyber espionage, Kaspersky’s Marco Preuss suggested taking the following safety measures during business trips:
- Restrict electronic communication to absolutely necessary things. While connecting to public WiFi, such as in airport lounges, use a VPN and encrypt messages to secure confidential data.
- Use SyncStop adapters while charging a device to avoid uploading malware while using USB cables.
- Carry less electronic equipment with you. It is better to take a separate travel notebook and smartphone containing as little data as possible. Do not place stickers indicating where you work on your devices.
- Remain as neutral and as cooperative as possible when dealing with border security service so as not to have your belongings confiscated.
Taking the above steps should reduce your attack surface and help to protect you against any attempts at cyber espionage.
Detecting two-way mirrors and cameras
There are a number of physical indicators which may indicate an attempt at cyber espionage.
This could include cameras and microphones placed in your hotel room, hidden as either conventional devices or placed behind a two-way mirror.
Kaspersky states that you can recognise most two-way mirrors using the finger spy test: “If, when you touch the mirror, your finger and its reflection touch, then this is a spy mirror,” Kaspersky said.
You can also use your phone to pick up infra-red lights from hidden miniature cameras.
“Infra-red lights from hidden miniature cameras or their electromagnetic signals can also be picked up using your mobile phone – you can see the little LEDs on the phone’s camera screen or hear them as interference during a call when you are close to a camera,” Kaspersky said.
“Do not store electronic equipment in hotel rooms and their safes – it would be better to prevent tampering by placing the equipment in special protective sleeves that cannot be opened without leaving a trace,” the cybersecurity company added.
The company also advised travelling professionals to turn on the tap or play loud “white noise” YouTube videos to combat eavesdropping.