Hundreds of thousands of dollars were stolen from a member’s bank accounts after they used the wifi internet at an overseas hotel. This member’s phone numbers were ported, bank logins changed and emails redirected. The hackers then transferred a substantial amount of money into their own bank accounts.
Our member is not sure exactly how this occurred, but they suspect it may have happened after staying at the Hilton Hotel in Tokyo. There is no indication that the hotel itself is at fault. But after reporting the incident to Australian Federal Police, it was discovered that guests at the same hotel had reported similar thefts.
One theory is that a “man-in-the-middle” attack took place. This could occur when accessing unsecured websites via a public wifi network, such as those found at hotels.
Thankfully, our member did have backup cash with them at the time. The stolen money was also eventually reimbursed.
The alarming incident has prompted our members to rethink their own cyber security practices. One member suggests accessing the internet via a virtual private network (VPN) while overseas. Another member now makes a point of deleting sensitive information from their computer prior to overseas travel.
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