Cyber criminals are increasingly targeting the tourism market.
Cyber criminals are increasingly targeting the tourism market.

Crucial thing to remember when travelling

WHEN you're travelling, you'll no doubt spend a bit of time online booking accommodation, shuffling funds around and uploading photos to social media.

But if you want to protect yourself against an unwanted holiday headache, it's best to be careful when logging on to unsecured Wi-Fi networks or sharing your details on certain travel sites because hackers are increasingly targeting the hospitality and tourism industry looking for easy targets.

That's one of the findings from the latest State Of The Internet report from Akamai, a major global provider of computer servers and networks.

The report looked at a staggering 3.9 billion malicious login attempts that occurred during the last year against sites belonging to airlines, cruise lines, hotels, online travel and transport organisations.

It also analysed credential abuse attacks which involve deploying impersonator bots to gain access to online systems.

"Nearly half of credential abuse traffic from Russia, China and Indonesia was directed at hotels, cruise lines, airlines and travel sites," the report said.

According to Akamai, nearly 40 per cent of traffic in the hotel and travel industry from November 2017 to April 2018 was from a type of malicious bot, which is a known vector for fraud. While not all bots are bad, they are often used in malicious hacks like credential abuse which can lead to things like phishing attacks.

Evidence suggests that exploitation of hotel and travel sites is mostly emanating from Russia and China, as well as Indonesia. It's possibly the work of organised cyber criminals targeting tourists for easy gain but it is difficult to identify the true culprits.

"These countries have historically been large centres for cyber attacks, but the attractiveness of the hospitality industry appears to have made it a significant target for hackers to carry out bot-driven fraud," Akamai senior security advocate Martin McKeay said.

It might sound overly pedantic, but if you don't use a VPN or know what to look for to ensure your online security, avoiding public Wi-Fi networks is increasingly the advice from tech experts.

In a 2017 article titled Why You Really Need to Stop Using Public Wi-Fi, the Harvard Technology Review warned: "You're rolling the dice every time you log on to a free network in a coffee shop, hotel lobby or airport lounge."

AUSTRALIA GETTING BETTER AT CYBER DEFENCE

In the face of rising threats, Australian businesses and organisations are improving their ability to thwart cyber intrusions.

According to a new study from Accenture, Australian organisations are now preventing 87 per cent of all focused attacks compared to 70 per cent in 2017.

The company says the average number of focused attacks per organisation within Australia has almost doubled this year to 232 compared to 106 the previous year.

"Only one in eight focused cyber attacks are getting through versus (about) one in three last year, indicating that Australian organisations are doing a better job of preventing data from being hacked, stolen or leaked," Accenture security expert Joseph Failla said.

The company surveyed 4600 enterprise security practitioners representing companies with annual revenues of $1 billion or more in 15 countries for the survey. A majority of Australian respondents cited breakthrough technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence and automation as being essential to reducing cyber attacks.



'MONSTER': Woman vomits, crawls away after ex strangles her

premium_icon 'MONSTER': Woman vomits, crawls away after ex strangles her

Man expresses deep regret for his domestic violence against his ex

Petition against Bargara high-rise presented as D-day looms

premium_icon Petition against Bargara high-rise presented as D-day looms

Opponents in last-ditch effort to be heard

Local Partners