Friday, June 13, 2014

Security Directors & Meeting Planners - Off-Site Meeting Counterespionage Tip

Smartphones certainly offer countless advantages for meetings and events. However, they also introduce a unique set of security concerns, creating a window of vulnerability for cyber attackers. Among common scams are phony SMS messages (known as SMiShing attacks) that are indistinguishable to attendees from official blasts, or malicious QR codes that bring attendees to hostile websites. Phone calls, texts and Wi-Fi traffic can be intercepted and leaked, providing hackers access to personal data.

The following precautions can help you protect your attendees.


For approximately $3,000, a hacker can set up a miniature cell phone tower that fits in a backpack and is capable of intercepting cellular calls and SMS messages. Attendees would not know if their phones were connecting to the impersonating or legitimate equipment from the hotel and cell phone carriers. For about $200, a hacker can set up a special wireless router that is capable of impersonating those set up by hotels and conferences. People who surf the web or transmit sensitive information would be victims without knowing it.

To prevent these devices from being deployed at your facility, arrange for qualified people from your staff or a vendor to provide real-time scans of the airwaves. This task requires specialized security training and equipment that is not usually part of a physical security team. Including this feature during the planning stages and throughout your event can provide valuable security for your attendees. (more)