Wednesday, May 11, 2005

This Just In! Computer Crooks in 5-Star Hotel

I just received some disturbing feedback on a post from March 26 regarding Internet security while travelling.

Regular readers (both of you) may remember the post, “Just when you thought it was safe to go on vacation” (you can find it in the archive by clicking the “March” heading on the right side of this blog page). It was about New York Times tech writer David Pogue, who encountered a worying security problem when he was travelling.

Logging onto the Net from various Internet cafes in Peru, he discovered that about 25% of the computers he used contained programs that tracked every word he typed – every login ID, every password. Worse yet, “The proprietors always alleged to know nothing about this.”

Now we have this fascinating follow-up from a reader called Anonymous:

“You don't have to travel to a third-world country to find nasty key logging installed on a computer. I'm a night porter at an English 5-Star Hotel and when a guest asked if I could find a Microsoft Excel file he had lost somewhere on his room’s computer, not only did I find his missing file but a key logging file that had details of every site visited plus Username and Passwords not only for that room but all 39 rooms on that network going back to Sept. 04.

“I reported this to our general manager last month and have not heard a word back since but I do know this programme was installed on our behalf.Is this legal?”

Not in this country, old chap. What a scary story.

Anonymous, if you’re reading this, e-mail me at, and I would be delighted to help you get this story out in the UK (anonymously, of course).

People Must Be Warned.

1 comment:

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