Hackers Prey on Vacationers


With spring break rapidly approaching, and already in full bloom for some, millions of Americans will be checking into hotels.

We all know that hotels can be a fun and relaxing place to rejuvenate and reconnect with friends or family—but did you also know that hotels can be a vile cesspool of ID thievery and financial hacking?

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, “In a recent report, SpiderLabs, a unit of data-security firm Trustwave, said 38% of its data-breach investigations in 2009 occurred at hotels. Financial services accounted for 19% of the company's data-breach investigations. Once an attack occurred, it took an average of 156 days for the business to realize it, according to the report. The problem has continued into 2010, says Nicholas Percoco, senior vice president of Trustwave and head of SpiderLabs.”

Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communication (Stock Quote: VZ), also reportedly has seen an uptick in hacks targeted at hotels. Why hotels? According to one expert, hotels are a great target because once you find an institutional security weakness, it can be “replicated” across the hotel’s many locations.

In other words, once you figure out how to pilfer the info from one guest’s credit card, you know how to hack a million more.

So after your next vacation, check the credit card statement very closely. Don’t wait 156 days to realize you’ve been stung.

For more money mistakes to avoid while on spring break, check out this article.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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