Identity thieves target hotel wi-fi

Identity thieves target hotel wi-fiGetty


A new alert sent out last week by the Internet Crime Complaint Center warns that criminal hackers are targeting hotel wi-fi in order to access bank account, credit card and password details of travellers.

The Sunday Times reports that data-mining programmes are being hidden in innocent-looking pop-up windows disguised as a software upgrade. When unwitting hotel guests accept the upgrade, hackers are given access to all their confidential data.

Cyber-security specialist Trustwave says that chain or franchise hotels are especially vulnerable as many have standardised computer systems, meaning that any deficiencies in security will be duplicated in every hotel within the franchise.

Last December, American officials revealed that Chinese hackers had found a way into wi-fi networks operated by iBahn, which lists Marriott and Jumeirah among its hotel clients. The attack was focused on stealing sensitive commercial information from business guests.

However, evidence suggests that cyber criminals are now targeting general travellers' computers to find credit card details.

As a result, the FBI recommends rejecting all software upgrades when you're away from home.

Click on the image below to see some impressive hotel architecture...

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Impressive hotel architecture
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Identity thieves target hotel wi-fi

When people think of Dubai the first image that springs to mind is most often the city's iconic Burj Al Arab, which is not just a marvellous example of the emirate's modern architecture but also one of the world's most luxurious hotels. Standing on its own island, the Burj Al Arab was designed by architect Tom Wright of WS Atkins whose challenge was to create a superstructure that was extravagant and luxurious while still reflecting Arabic heritage and Dubai's hospitality traditions - hence its billowing dhow sail shape, which represents the nation's seafaring heritage. The Burj Al Arab is an all-suite hotel with 24-hour butlers, a private beach and helicopter transfers for guests, as well as pretty much every luxury a hotel can offer! Visit jumeirah.com

This contemporary hotel close to Sao Paolo's largest green area Ibirapuera Park combines visually stunning architecture and modern design. The enormous half-moon building was designed by architect Ruy Ohtake, who achieved a boat-like shape, dramatic curving floors, circular windows and impossibly huge light-filled spaces, making Hotel Unique an urban work of art. The lobby is accentuated with beige marble walls and sharp, geometric themes. On the rooftop terrace you can enjoy some of the best views of the city, either from the sexy Skye restaurant and bar or the rooftop swimming pool. Visit hotelunique.com.br

Designed by Sir Gilbert Scott in 1865, London's St Pancras Renaissance Hotel is a fine example of High Victorian Gothic architecture in its most dramatic sense with intricate Gothic Revival metalwork, gold leaf ceilings, hand-stencilled wall designs and a legendary grand staircase. The five-star hotel preserves the glamour and romance of the old railway station during the 1800s and is one of the capital's most attractive landmarks. Discover the renovated Ladies Smoking Room, the first place in Europe where women could smoke in public, The Booking Office Bar, which was recreated in the original ticket office, and the luxurious St Pancras Spa, built in the original steam kitchen. Visit marriott.co.uk

Opening in July 2012, Endemico gives guests direct contact with nature in its luxury cabins staggered among boulders on a secluded hill in the wine-growing Valle de Guadalupe region. Each of the 20 cabins offer unobstructed views of the valley and blend in with the spectacular surroundings. The eco-friendly cabins are constructed from Corten steel and wood, and designed to intentionally weather over time so they fit with the natural setting. Inside there are sleek and simple furnishings, a king size bed and each has a private terrace with a clay kiva. There's also pool and whirlpool hidden among a rocky slope and a restaurant and bar that provide awe-inspiring views over the valley. Visit designhotels.com

Situated in the folkloric village of Viana do Castelo, the Axis Viana Business & SPA Hotel has a contemporary exterior made up of reflective aluminium, green stone and black glass. The building has overlapping stacked levels providing different perspectives, ranging from a full box frontal view and a complex column side view. In contrast to the exterior, the hotel's interior features white finishes, wood and stone. There are 88 rooms, a modern outdoor pool, an extensive spa with a Turkish bath, two swimming pools and a variety of massage treatments, plus fantastic views of the Lima River and the Mount St Luzia. Visit axishoteis.com

Its unique design makes the Bella Sky Comwell Hotel a spectacular skyscraper and striking landmark in the Copenhagen neighbourhood, Orestaden. Designed by 3XN, the hotel structure consists of two towers that are close and appear to be a shy pair leaning apart from each other. The tilt ensures that guests can enjoy the wonderful views over Amager Common and the vast Copenhagen skyline. Inside there are 812 designer rooms, a variety of bars and restaurants, plus a wide range of spa facilities. Visit bellaskycomwell.dk

Hotel Viura in Spain's wine-rich Rioja region is architecturally flamboyant and set against the backdrop of a traditional Spanish village. The striking bolthole, designed by owner-architects Joseba and Xabier Aramburu, has 33 cubed rooms piled nonchalantly on top of each other, with superb views of the village, mountains and a 17th-century church. The avant-garde hotel is a work of art and was designed to resemble a bunch of grapes. If you're an architecture buff, you'll want to visit the Ysios winery nearby, which was designed by Spanish artist Santiago Calatrava and offers contemporary design as well as fabulous wine. Visit hotelviura.com

Located in the heart of Pidong, Shanghai, the Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel is futuristic in design with Chinese cultural elements inspired by traditional feng shui principles. World-renowned architect Arata Isozaki designed the hotel in the form of the Yu Cong, an ancient Chinese ritual object that represents earth and heaven. The inspiration for the bold colours and rectangular shapes of the facade lighting come from Dutch artist Mondrian's Neoplastacism movement and the patterned walls wrapped around the base of the two towers were inspired by the ancient Chinese characters from the Tien Shu by Cang Jie. Inside there are 401 Chinese-style rooms, a large indoor screen in the lobby, multimedia animation art, which changes to reflect the beauty of the sky at different times of the day and live music performances in the lobby. Visit jumeirah.com

This distinctive hotel and Abu Dhabi landmark sits on the Yas Marina Circuit designed to reflect speed and spectacle. The iconic structure features the incredible Gridshell, which consists of a 219-metre expanse of sweeping steel and 5,096 diamond-shaped glass panels providing a veil that drapes over the two hotel towers, which are linked by a bridge crossing the Yas Marina Circuit. At night the effect is stunning with thousands of coloured lights against the sky, sea and desert landscape. Inside the five-star hotel, the filtered lights from the Gridshell highlight the contemporary spaces. The innovative rooms reflect the building's shape and character, the Skylite Lounge is the ultimate spot for relaxing after dark and the two rooftop pools offer beautiful sunset views. Visit viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

Deep wine-growing history meets 21st century avant-garde design at Hotel Marques de Riscal in Elciego, Spain. In case you hadn't guessed already, this striking hotel was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry to embrace the past with the surrounding villages that provide a medieval setting and the future with the dazzling foil-like exterior. Hotel Marques de Riscal is nestled in the stunning Vinos de los Herederos del Marques de Riscal’s vineyard with the hotel's spectacular curves, titanium roof and asymmetric walls providing a magnificent contrast to the historic wine cellars designed in 1858. Inside there are 43 uniquely luxurious rooms and suites that are 'thrown' in two buildings connected by a suspended footbridge, a fabulous wine bar (of course!) and the Vinotherapie Spa Caudalie to keep with the vineyard theme. Visit starwoodhotels.com

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