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Protect yourself from hacking while on business trips

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Business Executives who are keepers of secrets of the company are high-priority targets for cyber espionage. Especially, when traveling, precautionary measures – including those outside the world of IT – are essential, and they must be accompanied by an awareness of operational security (OPSEC).

Kaspersky, a global cybersecurity company, has warned business travellers that there are numerous potential sources of danger on business trips.

Kaspersky was able to discover in a one-week test on inter-city trains that business travellers aren’t protective enough of corporate information. Picking up on a colleague’s name can be all that’s needed to create a business e-mail address and then use it for phishing attacks.

In South Korea, the DarkHotel campaign uncovered by experts from Kaspersky back in 2014 drew attention to the fact that guests in certain luxury hotels had been spied on for years with the help of the hotel’s WiFi, which had been tampered. According to media reports, over 1,600 guests in 42 rooms at 30 smaller South Korean hotels were also spied on with miniature cameras until early 2019. Unfortunately, the secret use of cameras – for example in women’s toilets – appears to have become common across the country.

Still, international trips are a necessary part of doing business. Marco Preuss, Director GReAT Europe at Kaspersky, suggest taking these measures for safe business trips:

  • Restrict electronic communication to absolutely necessary things. While connecting to public WiFi, such as in airport lounges, use a VPN and encrypt messages to secure confidential data.
  • Use SyncStop adapters while charging a device to avoid uploading malware while using USB cables.
  • Carry less electronic equipment with you. It is better to take a separate travel notebook and smartphone containing as little data as possible. Do not place stickers, indicating where you work, on your devices.
  • Remain as neutral and as cooperative as possible when dealing with border security service so not to have your belongings confiscated.

Regarding physical threats, Kaspersky recommends the following to travelers:

  • Recognise a two-way mirror using the finger spy test: if, when you touch the mirror, your finger and its reflection touch, then this is a spy mirror.
  • When the occasion demands it, turn on the tap or loud “white noise” sounds from the internet – it will help combat eavesdropping[4].
  • Pick up infra-red lights from hidden miniature cameras or their electromagnetic signals – you can see the little LEDs on the phone’s camera screen or hear them as interference during a call when you are close to a camera. Infra-red lights from hidden miniature cameras or their electromagnetic signals can also be picked up using your mobile phone – you can see the little LEDs on the phone’s camera screen or hear them as interference during a call when you are close to a camera.
  • Do not store sensitive electronic equipment loose in hotel rooms and their safes – it would be better to prevent tampering by placing the equipment in special protective sleeves that cannot be opened without leaving a trace. The “boot_check” script[5] from one of Kaspersky’s experts will also help to uncover any “evil maid” attacks.

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