Sunday, December 18, 2011

Why Hack a Hotel's Internet Provider?

Google and Intel were logical targets for China-based hackers, given the solid-gold intellectual property data stored in their computers. An attack by cyberspies on iBahn, a provider of Internet services to hotels, takes some explaining.

iBahn provides broadband business and entertainment access to guests of Marriott International and other hotel chains, including multinational companies that hold meetings on site. Breaking into iBahn's networks, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the matter, may have let hackers see millions of confidential emails, even encrypted ones, as executives from Dubai to New York reported back on everything from new-product development to merger negotiations.

More worrisome, hackers might have used iBahn's system as a launchpad into corporate networks that are connected to it, using traveling employees to create a backdoor to company secrets, said Nick Percoco, head of Trustwave's SpiderLabs, a security firm...

The networks of at least 760 companies, research universities, Internet service providers and government agencies were hit over the last decade by the same group of China-based cyberspies. (more)