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Hotel networks face hacker threat

by Donna Buenaventura / February 28, 2004 2:49 PM PST

While many hotels provide high speed Internet access for business travelers, most are unaware of basic security issues, leaving their networks open to attack. Black hat hackers could easily sit in a lobby and access businessmen's computers through the hotel network, possibly stealing company secrets. Many companies can guard against this threat through virtual private networks (VPN), however, human error can make this inadequate. For example, most Windows computers, by default, are set up to share files over a network, assuming that workers will be located in one office environment. Travelers should ask hotels what security features they have in place before booking a room, and protect their computers with personal firewalls and antivirus, turn off sharing, and keep the operating system patches up-to-date.

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