Hackers Use NSA Tools in Hotels Across Europe
A group of Russian hackers best known for breaking into the Democratic National Committee have been using a leaked NSA espionage tool to target hotels across Europe in an attempt to spy on guests, according to new research published by cybersecurity firm, FireEye.
The hacker group known as APT28, or Fancy Bear, has targeted victims through connections to hacked hotel Wi-Fi networks.
APT28 infiltrated hotel networks via phishing emails that contained infected attachments and malicious Microsoft Word macros. Once they were in a hotel Wi-Fi network, they would then launch NSA hacking tool EternalBlue, which was leaked in 2017. This tool allowed them to spread control throughout the network, eventually reaching servers responsible for the corporate and guest Wi-Fi networks.
“It’s definitely a new technique” for the Fancy Bear hacker group, says Ben Read, who leads FireEye’s espionage research team. “It’s a much more passive way to collect on people. You can just sit there and intercept stuff from the Wi-Fi traffic.”
Hotel Wi-Fi has become a major vehicle for advanced hackers to target people of interest who happen to be connected. In 2014, researchers at security firm Kaspersky Lab said a group it dubbed Dark Hotel had been infecting hotel networks for at least seven years.
In a separate report a year later, Kaspersky Lab researchers uncovered evidence suggesting a separate hacking group with ties to the creators of the Stuxnet worm infected hotel conference rooms in an attempt to monitor high-level diplomatic negotiations the US and five other nations held with Iran over its nuclear program.
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