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Information Technology Blog
by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.
Pay for Hotel WiFi and Get a Bonus Infection
March 30, 2015
The cyber waves lit up last week when a huge vulnerability of hotel WiFi networks was exposed. A very large number of hotels use InnGate routers made by ANTlabs. Hopefully, you are not staying at hotels that charge for WiFi usage. If so, you get to pay for the “privilege” of exposing your computing device to being compromised. If it is “free” WiFi, you still get the bonus of potentially getting infected with malware. Essentially, the problem is that the bad guys can directly access the file system of InnGate routers. This, in turn, allows them to deposit code that could subsequently infect your computer or mobile device without your knowledge.
The good news is that ANTlabs has released a patch to fix the problem. The bad news is that IT personnel are usually pretty slow in applying patches. This is yet another reason why I am reluctant to use any WiFi network that I don’t control. Call me crazy, but I would rather use up my data plan with my smartphone hotspot than take a chance by connecting to the hotel or other business networks, where I have no idea what they are using or what security configurations have been deployed.