Booking.com: hackers attack customers and hoteliers on the platform

Booking, a new target for hackers?

Booking, a new target for hackers?

© Getty Images / boonchai wedmakawand

The hotel sector has been the victim of hackers at the start of 2023. For the past week, the National group of independent hotel and catering companies (GNI) alert on the multiplication of cyberattacks targeting the Booking.com reservation platform. Several complaints have been filed.

A virus transmitted to hoteliers

The cybervillains proceed in two stages: they attack the Booking accounts of hoteliers and then scam their customers. In detail, hackers are targeting hotel owners with spear phishing, sending a fake email that prompts the recipient to open a link, actually downloading a virus to the hotel manager’s computer. Malware is nothing but a stealera program capable of stealing all of a machine’s usernames and passwords.

Once the Booking account identifiers are in his pocket, the hacker goes to the hotelier’s account and takes the opportunity to change the name of the brand, contact details and prices. Potential customers of the establishment on Booking are then contacted via WhatsApp or internal messaging and asked to pay for their stay. This phishing allows hackers to recover the bank details of scammed customers.

A false message addressed to Booking customers.

A false message addressed to Booking customers.

© National Group of Independent Hotels & Restaurants

A precedent in 2014

“This is a cyber attack that has been around for a very long time. In 2014, Booking had already been affected by several thousand frauds of this type”says Damien Bancal, expert in cyber-intelligence quoted by BFM TV. For its part, the GNI invites professionals in the sector to avoid Booking.com for the moment.

For its part, the platform assures in a press release relayed by franceinfothat “the security flaw does not come from Booking.com […] The affected accounts were quickly locked and our teams are supporting these accommodation partners to ensure that they can reopen their reservations on our platform safely and as soon as possible. All potentially affected travelers have been informed”.

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