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Cybersecurity in Travel and Tourism: A Risk-based Approach



As the travel and tourism sector is embracing emerging technologies to redefine products, services, and consumer experiences, their cyber ecosystems become increasingly vulnerable to security risks related with these technologies, the huge amount of financial transactions they carry out and the valuable customer data they store. Over the last few years, several high-profile organizations in the sector made negative headlines because they did not pay appropriate attention to these risks and took an approach to cybersecurity that was fragmented, technology-focused and compliance-oriented. It is evident that a step change is needed, and this chapter presents a more comprehensive, business-driven and risk-based approach to building cybersecurity capability in an organization. The chapter starts with the business case for a cybersecurity strategy and then unfolds the components of a risk-based approach to cybersecurity.
Please cite as:
Paraskevas, A. (2020). Cybersecurity in Travel and Tourism: A Risk-based Approach,
in Xiang, Z., Fuchs, M., Gretzel, U. and Höpken, W. (eds) Handbook of e-Tourism,
Cham: Springer Nature Switzerland AG, ISBN 978-3-030-05324-6, DOI:
Cybersecurity in Travel and Tourism: A Risk-based
Prof. Alexandros Paraskevas (PhD)
University of West London
As the travel and tourism sector is embracing emerging technologies to redefine
products, services, and consumer experiences, their cyber ecosystems become
increasingly vulnerable to security risks related with these technologies, the huge
amount of financial transactions they carry out and the valuable customer data they
store. Over the last few years, several high-profile organizations in the sector made
negative headlines because they did not pay appropriate attention to these risks and
took an approach to cybersecurity that was fragmented, technology-focused and
compliance-oriented. It is evident that a step change is needed, and this chapter
presents a more comprehensive, business-driven and risk-based approach to
building cybersecurity capability in an organization. The chapter starts with the
business case for a cybersecurity strategy and then unfolds the components of a risk-
based approach to cybersecurity.
Keywords: cyberattacks; cybersecurity; data breach; risk-based approach; threat
actors; travel networks
1. Introduction
With the ‘stone years’ of simple internet adoption in their business models long past,
many organizations in the travel and tourism sector are now navigating the so-called
Fourth Industrial Revolution (also known as Industry 4.0) and embrace emerging
technologies to redefine products, services, and consumer experiences (Schwab
2017). Change and digitization (i.e., the conversion of analogue to digital) are driven
in ways that are exciting and often challenging to keep pace with, disrupting
businesses, creating new markets and turning the world increasingly connected with
continuous innovation. As the world is becoming smaller, cyber is getting bigger and
moving into many new directions helping to fuel an unprecedented rise in consumer
and business partners’ expectations. It is expanding beyond the organizations four
walls and IT environments and moves into the products and services they offer as
well as into the partner, supplier, customer and stakeholder networks they create.
However, this digital transformation in travel and tourism which involves online
transactions, customer analytics, cloud integration, connected devices, and digital
payment technology also leads to the realisation that, by growing their digital
footprint, organizations are increasingly exposed to cyber threats.
Cyberattacks can be significantly detrimental to customer trust and brand reputation
and often have severe financial, legal and regulatory implications. Kaspersky Lab
(2018) estimates that it costs more than $500,000 to recover from a security breach.
These are only direct losses: money businesses are forced to spend on IT recovery
services, to cover lost business and downtime as well as legal and public relations
services. Indirect losses i.e., costs for additional staff hiring and training,
infrastructure upgrades etc. are estimated, on average, $70,000. Then there are fines
to be paid. Three data breaches in Wyndham Hotels and Resorts’ computer network
between 2008 and 2010 compromised records of over 600,000 guests with $10.6
million of fraudulent credit card charges resulting not only at a lawsuit from the US
Federal Trade Commission in 2012 but also from a shareholder in 2014. The
shareholder filed a lawsuit against the company and its board directors and officers,
claiming that their failure to implement adequate cybersecurity measures and
disclose the data breaches in a timely manner caused shareholders to suffer the
damages of an FTC investigation (Robinson 2014). Both lawsuits were settled for
undisclosed amounts. Marriott International received in 2019 a fine of $124 million
from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office under the General Data Protection
Regulation (GDPR), for one of the biggest data breaches in history where personal
information of 500 million guests was exposed by a hack in the reservation database
for its Starwood properties. The same regulator proposed a record $230 million fine
against British Airways for failing to protect passenger data in a 2018 data breach
(Olson 2019).
In response to this new threat environment, organizations spend huge amounts of
money on cybersecurity. In 2004, the global cybersecurity market was worth $3.5
billion and in 2017 it was expected to be worth more than $120 billion (a growth of
roughly 35 times over 13 years). According to Gartner Inc (2018), worldwide
spending on information security alone (a subset of the broader cybersecurity
market) products and services exceeded $114 billion in 2018, an increase of 12.4%
from 2017. For 2019, they forecast the market to grow to $124 billion, and $170.4
billion in 2022. Yet, there has been a real lack of meaningful and sustainable success
in preventing cyberattacks with cybercriminals upping their game and escalating
their attacks with increased levels of sophistication whilst causing significant damage
to many organizations. The May 2017 WannaCry cyberattack, for example, which
allegedly involved the cybercriminal gangs ‘The Shadow Brokers’ and ‘The Lazarus
Group’, affected over than 300,000 computers across more than 150 countries. For
the UK’s National Health System (NHS) alone, the cost of the attack was estimated in
$23 million of lost output (more than 19,000 cancelled appointments) and $89
million in IT costs related with restoring systems and data (Field 2018).
Despite the billions spent for cybersecurity, cyberattacks are still considered the
number one risk in Europe, East Asia and the Pacific and North America, i.e., regions
that account for 50% of global GDP (World Economic Forum 2018). One of the most
susceptible to cybercrime sectors is the travel and tourism sector, with hospitality
organizations ranking third in incidents of compromises after retail businesses and
financial institutions (Trustwave 2019). The large amounts of online travel bookings
predicted to reach $434 million in 2019 and expected to further grow annually by
6.2% to $552million by 2023 (Statista 2019), have always been a point of attraction
for cybercriminals. But it appears that what makes the sector more attractive is the
customer data that is stored in a multitude of computers, servers and networks of
hotels, airlines, booking and car rental companies, even restaurants and bars.
According to PwC’s Hotels Outlook report 2018-2022 (PwC South Africa 2018:49-
53), hotels and hotel groups of all sizes have the second-highest number of data
breaches after retail stores. Most international hotel groups from Marriott and
Starwood to Wyndham, Intercontinental, Hyatt, Rezidor, Mandarin Oriental and
Omni, as well as smaller independent hotels, have fallen prey to cyberattacks several
times in the past few years. But also other companies in the sector such as airlines
(Air Canada, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Delta), tour operators (Thomas Cook),
travel websites (Expedia, Orbitz, Rail Europe), third-party booking platforms (Sabre
Hospitality Solutions), holiday camps (Butlins), travel trade groups (ABTA),
restaurant chains (Arby’s, Checker and Rally’s, Cheddar’s) and even bakery-cafés
(Panera Bread) to name a few, have been hacked in the last couple of years and many
of them not only once.
An analysis of the data breaches and attacks appearing in the press shows that the
sector is highly vulnerable to cybercrime mainly due to its huge fragmentation, the
complexity of the travel booking and payment networks involving numerous agents
and third-party service providers, the poor defences of its legacy IT and point-of-sale
(POS) systems, the millions of travellers interacting with travel organizations in the
cyberspace and human error. Also, many travel and tourism organizations focus their
security efforts on meeting compliance obligations, while others start scrutinising
their defences only in the aftermath of a breach or after interest from a senior
executive. Taking such an ad hoc approach to cybersecurity works briefly in the
short-term but leaves the organization exposed to future threats. As a result, even
substantial investments on cybersecurity often lead to very low returns. Bone
(2017:55) describes the phenomenon of this “endless cycle of massive spending on
cybersecurity with no evidence of risk reduction in security” as a “Cyber Paradox”. He
argues that this is due to the focus on technology defences and lack of a holistic risk-
based view of the cyber threats that organizations face and of their vulnerabilities in
their current and future operating environments. Cybersecurity is not just about
technology: it involves people and information, systems and processes, culture and
physical surroundings. Organizations need to create a secure cyberspace for their
employees, partners, suppliers and customers but also need to remain resilient in the
event of an attack. To prevent, prepare for and respond to cyber threats by taking a
risk-based approach, organizations must be able to give answers to questions on
who, why, what and how.
2. Understanding the Cyber Risk Landscape
In his Art of War, Sun Tzu says that “if you know the enemy and know yourself, you
need not fear the result of a hundred battles”. The first step in a risk-based view of
cybersecurity is to understand who these threat actors are, why they do what they do,
what they are looking for and how they operate. But as risk is generated at the
intersection of a threat with a vulnerability, for organizations to reach a full
appreciation of their risk landscape, they must also know themselves. Additionally,
they need to be able to identify the internal and external vulnerabilities that threat
actors (attackers) can potentially exploit in an attack and the attack vectors (path and
means) they will use. Fig. 1 summarises this cyber risk landscape.
Fig. 1 The Cyber Risk Landscape
2.1. Threat Actors and their Motives
Quite a few threat actor typologies exist with the “Dutch typology” which was
developed by the University of Delft in the Netherlands (de Bruijne et al 2017)
offering the most sophisticated analysis of eleven actor types alongside their
potential targets, expertise, resources, organization and motivation. However, for an
organization to understand its cyber risk landscape it is enough to consider that
cyberattacks fall broadly under three categories: warfare, activism and crime.
Consequently, they can be geopolitically, ideologically and financially motivated and
the threat actors behind these categories of attacks can be classified in state-
sponsored actors, activists and criminals.
2.1.1. State-sponsored Actors
State-sponsored actors also known as Nation-State APTs (Advanced Persistent
Threat groups) are directed, funded and technologically supported by a nation-state
and operate to advance that nation’s particular interests and political agendas.
In 2015 LOT, the Polish national air carrier was forced to ground its fleet following a
cyberattack to its computer systems that were managing flight plans at Warsaw’s
Okecie Airport (Morgan 2015). This attack was later connected with the approval by
the country’s president of a very controversial and unpopular surveillance law (BBC
News 2016). State-sponsored actors usually steal intellectual property, sensitive
personally identifiable information (PII), and money to fund other espionage and
exploitation causes (Ablon 2018). Travelling government officials, military
personnel, senior corporate executives and research scientists are particularly
attractive to these actors, who are interested in every possible information they can
collect about them, including information contained in the devices they carry.
The notorious Korean-speaking DarkHotel group exploited vulnerabilities of more
than 100 luxury hotel Wi-Fi networks in Asia, Europe and the US to make persons of
their interest download malware which appeared as a legitimate software update.
They gained access to sensitive government and corporate information of thousands
of guests since they were operating unnoticed for seven years (2007-2014). The fact
that its victims were all high-ranking officials and executives plus its later connection
with the SONY Pictures attack in 2011 indicate that the group is backed by the North
Korean government (Palmer 2017).
Hotel Wi-Fi vulnerabilities were also exploited by APT28 or ‘Fancy Bear’ with
suspected links to Russian military intelligence. In 2017 the group obtained
password credentials of Western government and business travellers staying in
hotels at seven countries in Europe and one in the Middle East in order then to infect
their organizational networks back home (Smith and Read 2017).
The Chinese Ministry of State Security and their affiliated group ‘Cloud Hopper’ are
allegedly behind the 2015 Sabre attack (Morris 2019) and the 2018
Marriott/Starwood data breach (Bing 2018).
2.1.2. Activists (Hacktivists)
Activists or hacktivists are threat actors motivated by some political, economic, or
social cause, from highlighting human rights abuse to internet copyright
infringement and from alerting an organization for its vulnerabilities to declaring
online war with people or groups whose ideologies they do not agree with (Ablon
Hacktivists often act as online whistle-blowers by disseminating (‘doxxing’) online
sensitive or even classified information they obtained through data breaches. Other
times they deface their target organizations’ websites, i.e., they change completely
the website appearance by hacking its hosting infrastructure and replacing the
content with their message. However, their most common practice is to render their
targets’ websites unreachable by overwhelming their networks or computational
capacity with more traffic than they can handle causing them to crash (distributed
denial-of-service or DDoS attack).
Ghost Squad Hackers, an offshoot of the hacktivist group Anonymous, conducted a
DDoS attack in 2016 on the Trump Hotel Collection website forcing it to go offline.
They announced that they were targeting Trump’s hate-mongering against Muslims
and Mexicans (Masters 2016).
2.1.3. Organised Crime Groups and Black Hats
In the crime category, the Dutch Typology distinguishes threat actors in digital
robbers (scammers), fraudsters and extortionists, information brokers and crime
facilitators. Whether they operate as parts of organised crime groups or as
independent black hats, cybercriminals seek to profit primarily from the wealth of
data that passes through the travel and tourism networks and are no longer just
interested in credit card records. In these networks, they can find passport data,
contact details, birth dates, travel plans, air miles, loyalty points and personal
preferences of millions of travellers, all of which can be used in a multitude of ways,
ranging from fraud to identity theft and extortion. The common denominator for all
these actors is that they operate for financial gain by monetising the stolen data,
normally in underground black markets of the dark web.
Dream Market, one of the largest dark web markets, lists several vendors selling
reward points from over a dozen different airline reward programmes, including
Emirates Skywards, SkyMiles, and Asia Miles. In August 2018, a vendor going by the
handle @UpInTheAir was selling a minimum of 100,000 points from several reward
programmes starting at $884. These points are mostly used to obtain upgrades in
hotel stays but, on many occasions, also to redeem points at local retailers through
gift cards. Across the three most popular marketplaces in the dark web (Dream
Market, Olympus Market and Berlusconi Market) the most listed were Delta
SkyMiles and British Airways miles (Bischoff 2018).
Dark web travel agents’ are reported to sell packages of flights, hotel bookings, car
rentals and tours and activities at 30% of their retail value (Seon 2018). These
vendors use stolen credit cards or reward points and air miles from hacked traveller
accounts to buy travel services which they can offer at a discount to others.
Comments on internet forums such as Reddit and Flyertalk detail the stories of many
victims who found their loyalty points had been used to pay for travel services under
the names of other people (Bridge 2017).
Another source of revenue for organised crime is passport information. In 2016,
more than 47,000 scanned personal documents, including resident registration
numbers, digital passport scans, home addresses, bank accounts, phone numbers
and family relations records of Asiana Airlines’ passengers were ‘leaked’ on the
internet (Park and Lee 2016). Passport data and, in particular, digital passport scans
stolen from travel organization servers are often sold in bulk with an average price
between $14 and $60 (Sheridan 2018).
2.1.4. Inadvertent and Malicious Insiders
Research has shown, however, that the most dangerous threat actor for cyberattacks
is the insiders, i.e., members of staff who do not respond to training and those who
create vulnerabilities through mistakes (inadvertent insiders) or disgruntled
employees who either collude with external threat actors or carry out the attack
themselves (malicious insiders). Sloppy configuration and maintenance of a server at
the Pyramid Hotel Group which manages over 90 hotels under different brand
affiliations exposed to the wider public (and to threat actors) a vast array of sensitive
data of these properties, including hotel employees data, such as full names and
usernames, local PC names and addresses, server names and operating system
details, cybersecurity policy details, and a variety of other cybersecurity-related
information (Winder 2019). High employee turnover in the travel and tourism sector
is another reason for security protocols to become vulnerable, if not regularly
2.2. Types of Attack and Attack Vectors
Threat actors are using a wide range of techniques and attack vectors to by-pass the
cybersecurity measures that organizations have in place to protect their systems and
data. The attacks mostly involve high-level technical skills in programming and code
generation and, as the examples above indicate, take advantage of the detected
network and organizational security vulnerabilities.
2.2.1. Cognitive Hacks
The continuous improvement and sophistication of cybersecurity defence systems
have turned most organizations into ‘hard targets’ prompting many cybercriminals to
revise their tactics and focus on a softer target: the human mind. The theory of
cognitive hacking’ was developed in 2002, even if the technique has been around
since the beginning of the internet. Unlike the usual technical cyberattacks where
threat actors exploit IT systems’ vulnerabilities, cognitive hacks are designed in
engineering attack vectors to exploit psychological vulnerabilities of people (social
engineering) within organizations using deception to manipulate their perception
and change their behaviour for the threat actor to bypass security and carry out the
attack (Cybenko et al 2002). When it comes to cognitive hacks, the most proven
attack vector and by far the ‘weapon of choice’ of many threat actors is the email.
Phishing has always been the most common type of cyberattack and involves mass-
emailing campaigns to organizations attempting to lure employees into downloading
attachments with malware or provide access data. Phishing is speculative in nature
as it is targeting hundreds of recipients and exploits the weakest human links in the
system. A more sophisticated tactic is spear-phishing which is targeting specific
members of staff or roles, after sometimes quite elaborate social engineering based
on research on their preferences, interests and habits, to convince them that the
email originates from a legitimate source.
Targeted travel organizations often receive emails sent by attackers containing links
to legitimate-looking websites requesting them to log in to their accounts or to repair
a technical issue. In 2017, several travel agencies received emails from that appeared
to come from Sabre (including proper logos and names) providing links to a
fraudulent Sabre website and asking them to verify their login credentials. Once
travel agents logged in, the criminals captured their credentials and then use them to
make fraudulent bookings and issue tickets. In the case of Montecito Village Travel
alone, they run $25,000 worth of Royal Jordanian airline tickets (Biesiada 2017).
Many hotels and guest houses featured on travel website have been
targeted by phishing emails in 2018, resulting in users of the website being sent
emails asking them to provide payment details. Personal information, such as names,
addresses, phone numbers, booking reference numbers and dates were included,
leading the recipients to believe that the emails were legitimate (Whitehead 2018).
Phishing, spear-fishing and other cognitive hacking techniques facilitate several
other types of cyberattacks which give threat actors access to the organization’s
systems and networks.
2.2.2. Malware Attacks
Perhaps the most traditional attack method, malware attack compromises an
organization’s sensitive systems and data by infecting them with malicious software
such as viruses, worms, Trojan horses, keyloggers and other spyware. These attacks
normally feature the use of a command-and-control server which enables threat
actors to communicate with the infected systems, exfiltrate sensitive data and even
remotely control the compromised device or server. There are thousands of different
malware variants which, once they infiltrate systems and hardware, they spread to
other systems leaving a trail of disruption and destruction. IBM’s X-Force Incident
Response and Intelligence Services (IRIS) teams helped organizations with 200%
more destructive malware cases in the first half of 2019 compared with the second
half of 2018 and report that organizations hit with destructive malware can
experience a total cost of $200 million and lose more than 12,000 devices in an
attack (Sheridan 2019).
The most common for the travel and tourism sector malware attack is the
Carbanak/Anunak attack’ (named after the criminal groups that designed it) which
uses a spear-phishing tactic. The attacker calls the organization’s reservations office
saying that they are unable to use the online reservation system and requests to send
their information to the agent via email. The attacker stays on the line until the agent
opens the attachment contained in the email and hangs up when the attack is
confirmed as successful. The email attachment is normally a Word document that
contains malware capable of stealing system information, desktop screenshots, and
to download additional network mapping malware (reconnaissance tools). This
malware enables remote desktop, steals local passwords, search user's email, target
payment systems or install completely different remote desktop programmes and
targets credit card data by scraping memory on Point-of-Sale systems (Trustwave
Another malware attack using the spear-phishing technique is when attackers use a
Word document from the travel organization itself (e.g., forms authorising credit
card charges in advance of a stay, menu selection in special events, etc.). The
document is usually enclosed as part of a self-extracting file, which also installs two
other files on the targeted network one of them a disguised installer for backdoor
malware and the other with a script that both opens the Word document and
launches the backdoor (Gallagher 2016).
2.2.3. POS (Endpoint) Attacks
Point-of-sale (POS) attacks are a type of malware attack which is very common in the
travel and tourism sector and gives threat actors valuable data including credit card
information such as card numbers and personal identification numbers (PINs). As
mentioned earlier in the chapter, numerous hotel groups (InterContinental,
Mandarin Oriental, Radisson) and restaurant chains Arby’s, Checker and Rally’s,
Cheddar’s) have experienced data breaches most of which were through their POS
systems. According to Verizon (2018), for hotels and restaurants alone, point-of-sale
intrusion accounts for 90% of all data breaches.
Memory scraping through malware infection is the most used method to target POS
systems with over twenty known types of RAM-scraping malware designed for this
purpose. Threat actors take advantage of the lack of security vigilance in the sector
during slow periods to attack POS networks. Legacy systems with computers and
terminals that have not been updated with the latest security patches or are
completely outdated are still used in many hotels, restaurants, pool and beach bars
are another easy target for attackers to infect with their malware. The malware can
spread itself throughout the organization, eventually infecting all its POS terminals.
When a card is swiped, its details are briefly stored in the POS terminal’s RAM while
being transmitted to the payment processor. The malware installed in the terminal
copies the card data and it transmits back to the threat actors normally via an
internal staging server, as the POS system is unlikely to have external network
There are a variety of methods attackers can use to gain access to an organization’s
network. They usually look for vulnerabilities in external-facing systems such as
using an SQL injection on a web server or finding a computer in the network that still
uses the default manufacturer password. Alternatively, they can identify and use an
inadvertent insider within the organization through a spear-fishing campaign or a
vulnerability among its digital partners and third-party service providers, what is
otherwise known as ‘Digital Extended Enterprise’ or ‘DexteR’ (Pulkkinen 2018). In
2016, the Russian cybercriminal group Carbanak breached a system support portal
used by Oracle to remotely access and service MICROS point-of-sale systems,
gaining the potential to remotely access and infect with malware the MICROS
terminals in some 200,000 food and beverage outlets, 100,000 retail sites, and more
than 30,000 hotels (Krebs 2016). More recently, a new security flaw in Oracle was
found making it possible for threat actors to remotely install POS malware to
MICROS terminals (Brooks 2018).
Another endpoint target in the sector is the range of mobile travel apps which are
becoming increasingly popular also among treat actors. Air Canada (2018), for
example, reported that following ‘unusual login behaviour’ it decided to lock all
passengers’ mobile accounts until they update their passwords, as it suspected that
20,000 of its mobile app users' personal data might have been compromised in a
breach. Insecure data storage within the app alongside insecure inter-process
communication and often unwarranted data transmission can potentially enable
attackers to remotely access data processed within the app (Positive Technologies
2019). Skyscanner, TripAdvisor and Kayak mobile apps were found to be sending
personal data to Facebook without users’ consent (Taylor 2019). Apart from breaking
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules which require the explicit consent
of users before personal information is collected or shared, the transmission of data
was done with built-in Facebook trackers that could be intercepted by any threat
2.2.4. Ransomware Attacks
A very different type of malware attack is the ransomware attack. The goal of this
attack is not to steal data but to deny its owner access to it. While other types of
malware attacks are more complex for the threat actors to monetise (e.g., stolen data
needs to be exfiltrated, bundled and sold in dark web forums and markets), the
objective of a ransomware attack is to make the target pay the attacker directly. The
ransomware is programmed to identify the organization’s most sensitive or valuable
data, corrupt the backups to make them useless, create backdoors in the system for
easier future infiltrations, encrypt the data and then send to the target a ransom
demand, usually to be paid in cryptocurrency. To make their demands more
compelling, threat actors often incorporate wiper elements into their attacks, such as
with new strains of ransomware like LockerGoga and MegaCortex, resulting in a
spike of 116% of calls to X-Force IRIS' teams for ransomware incidents in the first
half of 2019 (Sheridan 2019). Usually targeted organizations do not disclose such
attacks or, if they do, they deny that they have paid any ransom. However, as the
ransomware variants employed are rather unpredictable and often difficult to defend
against, many organizations resort in buying cyber-insurance and stockpiling
cryptocurrencies for ransom payment (Wall 2018). Citrix reports that more UK-
based companies are now building a ready stockpile of cryptocurrency for a
ransomware attack, rising from 33% in 2016 to 42% in 2o18 (Mayers 2018).
Ransomware attacks have become very common in the travel and tourism sector
with targets ranging from the Louisville Regional Airport Authority in Kentucky,
USA and the Bristol Airport in UK to the Bin Line and Goldjoy travel agencies in
Hong Kong and from Marriott/Starwood hotel group worldwide to The Piccadilly
Hotel in Lucknow, India to name a few that have been reported to the press. Notably,
ransomware attacks do not target only data but also operating systems as evidenced
in the attack of the Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt in the Austrian Alps. The attackers
infiltrated the hotel’s electronic key system locking hotel guests in their rooms and
locking the hotel out of its systems thus disabling staff to issue new key cards to
guests. They demanded a ransom of two Bitcoins and warned that the cost would
double if the hotel did not comply with the demand by the end of the day (Bilefsky
2.2.5. Botnet / DDoS Attacks
Botnet attacks use networks of thousands and even millions of computers,
smartphones, or intelligent devices (botnets or ‘zombie armies’) for malicious login
attempts, mass spam attacks or to take down a network, network devices, websites or
an organization’s IT environment. These computers have been infected with
malware, enslaving them to be commanded by the threat actors who infected them to
provide the raw computing power to launch botnet attacks. Once an attack is
initiated, botnets are used to send vast quantities of requests /enquiries ranging from
simple ping messages to bulk email messages. The huge volume of incoming traffic
overwhelms the targeted network/server or website to the point that other legitimate
users are unable to access it or that it crashes. The objective of such attacks is to
disrupt normal working operations or degrade the overall service of the target
organization and this is the reason why they are also known as Distributed-Denial-
of-Service (DDoS) attacks. In May 2018, the Danish Railway experienced a powerful
DDoS attack causing the app, the website and the ticket system to crash. The
organization’s email and telephone servers went also down causing both a transport
and communication chaos in Denmark (Hill 2018). Airlines are also a common DDoS
attack target with the severity of attacks increasing dramatically in recent years and
many airline IT outages attributed to them (Elliott 2019).
The threat actors’ motivation for a DDoS attack can be political or ideological (like
the Ghost Squad attack on the Trump Hotel Collection website discussed earlier) as
well as financial. When it comes to financial gains, the threat actor asks for money
directly from the target just like in ransomware situations or may be paid by a third
party, usually a competitor or a disgruntled employee. DDoS-for-hire services are
offered by the hour for $10 and by the day at bulk discount rates of $200 (Wilczek
Akamai Technologies (2018) analysed 112 billion bot requests and 3.9 billion
malicious login attempts between November 2017 and April 2018 against sites
belonging to airlines, cruise lines, hotels, online travel, automotive rental and
transport organizations and reported that cruise lines are the target of twice as many
botnet attacks than those connecting to airline and hotel sites with 50 billion events
that targeted the cruise industry alone. According to the report, these attacks
originated predominantly from China and Russia with attacks being three times the
number of attacks originating from the US and Indonesia (third and fourth attack
origins respectively).
Travel websites are attacked by scraping botnets querying for any ticket they can sell,
skewing look-to-book ratios, increasing GDS transaction costs, and causing website
slowdowns and downtime. Threat actors dynamically package hotel room and airline
seat inventory with other products, stealing direct and ancillary revenue.
2.2.6. Attacks on Third-party Service Providers
Threat actors also target members of the organization’s ‘DexteR (digital partners and
third-party service providers). According to the 2018 IBM X-Force Threat
Intelligence Index, more two-thirds of total data records compromised in 2017 were
the result of organizations’ insiders. Attackers deliberately targeted employees and
managers, partners and third-party service providers who are often the ‘weaker links’
in the network as well as attractive aggregation points for sensitive organizational
data (IBM 2018).
An example of organised crime taking advantage of third-party vulnerabilities and
organizational slack and of turning both third-party and the organization’s IT team
to ‘inadvertent insiders’, is the 2018 British Airways data breach. The cybercriminal
group Magecart managed to identify and inject malicious code to a third-party piece
of Javascript which was unchecked and for a long time not updated by the British
Airways IT team. The infected script enabled payment details of about 380,000
passengers to be diverted to the fake website ‘’ - developed and
controlled by Magecart - as they were entered by these passengers (Stokel-Walker
2019). Similarly, in April 2018, Delta airlines announced that payment card
information of several hundred thousand passengers might have been exposed by a
malware breach in software provided by (24), a third-party supplier which
provided solutions for online chat, virtual agents and customer analytics (Delta
Websites hosting and outsourced service providers are also commonly targeted
‘DexteR’ nodes. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) found out in
February 2017 that its web server which was managed through a third-party hosting
company was compromised exposing data of 43,000 individuals, travel agents and
tour operators. The breach also exposed PII of roughly 1,000 holidaymakers who
have made a complaint about an ABTA-registered travel agent. Cybercriminals
targeted in 2017 Sabre’s SynXis hospitality reservation system even if, in the end,
only a limited subset of reservations processed through the system were viewed and
attackers did not access customers’ personal information. SynXis was a lucrative
target because it was handling, at the time, bookings for around 35,000 hotels under
more than a dozen different brands (Sabre 2017).
2.2.7. Wi-Fi Network / Website Compromise
Threat actors also take advantage of unsecured public networks in hotels, cafés,
airports and visitor attractions to infiltrate traveller devices, infect them with
malware and either steal their personal data or use them as inadvertent insiders for
other targets.
Apart from attacks using Wi-Fi vulnerabilities like the DarkHotel group described
earlier, threat actors use also a technique known as the ‘evil twin’ attack. They
position themselves near an authentic Wi-Fi access point (e.g., a museum’s public
Wi-Fi network) and discover its service set identifier (SSID) and frequency. They
then send a radio signal using the exact same frequency and SSID which to the other
museum visitors appears as the legitimate hotspot with the same name. When
visitors connect to the evil twin, threat actors take control of their device, collect their
personal data and can monitor every activity performed in the device. Evil twins are
historically known as honeypots or base station clones and are one of the most
common cyber threats in the travel and tourism sector (McCue 2019).
Travel and tourism organizations’ websites are another attack vector for stealing
valuable customer data, including PII and payment details. Research (Greif 2018;
Wueest 2019) has shown that major airline and hotel websites leak detailed guest
booking data (including booking reference code, full name, address, mobile phone
number, passport number, and the last four digits of credit card numbers) to third-
party advertisers, social media websites, data aggregators, and other partners. Some
websites leak guest information to online partners during the booking process itself,
while others leaked it when customers logged in to their reservation page. Threat
actors can access and use this data to log into a reservation, view personal details,
and even alter or cancel the booking.
3. Building Cybersecurity Capability
Already from 2010, Dmitri Alperovitch, McAfee Vice President of Threat Research,
when he revealed a five-year cyberattack that hit 14 countries, tagged as "Operation
Shady RAT", has said that “the only companies not at risk are those who have
nothing worth taking”. His report concluded that there are two kinds of companies
today, “those that know they have been compromised, and those that still haven't
yet realized they have been compromised” (Bright, 2011). The number of
cyberattacks over the last 5 years is evidence enough to show that travel and tourism
organizations, regardless of their size, have data worth taking and are still an easy
target for threat actors. For any organization in the sector it is not a matter of ‘if’ but
a matter of ‘when’ and, therefore, they must take a business-led and risk-based
approach to build cybersecurity capability to defend themselves from all these types
of cyberattacks and more. Again, answers to the questions who, what, why and how
need to guide the planning
3.1. Cybersecurity Governance
In many organizations, cybersecurity is an issue that concerns the IT department and
the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), if such a role exists, and the focus of
their strategy is mere compliance to the legislative and regulatory requirements.
However, as already discussed, data breaches have become causes for class-actions
against the senior management of companies (directors and officers), as the
examples of Wyndham’s shareholder lawsuit in 2014, the securities lawsuit against
the China-based Huazhu Hotel Group (LaCroix 2018) and the Marriott class-action
in 2018 (Cision 2019) have already shown, notwithstanding the wave of class-actions
expected against British Airways (Schwartz 2018) and other high-profile companies
in the sector.
Cybersecurity today requires leadership from the board and senior management that
goes beyond the approval of new IT investments and compliance with security
regulations. Rather, boards and senior management must first see cyber as an
organization-wide issue and expect everyone to be accountable for managing the risk
and, second, assume cybersecurity oversight just as they do with any other significant
risk to the organization and consider.
This can be achieved either with the entire board overseeing cyber risk or by
delegating this oversight to a board committee, normally the Audit Committee or a
committee headed by a director with a technology or cybersecurity background that
will provide the board with regular and comprehensive updates. Where such
knowledge does not exist within a Board, it should be acquired, just like Marriott
International did with the appointment as an independent director of Margaret M.
McCarthy, Executive Vice President at CVS Health Corporation, specifically for her
experience and knowledge of privacy and cybersecurity (Marriott 2019). This
appointment sent all the right signals to stakeholders that cyber has become a
serious item in the C-suite agenda in the aftermath of the massive data breach it
experienced in 2018.
3.2. Setting Priorities: What Matters Most?
A cybersecurity strategy that provides the best protection to key business assets and
operations, requires the organization to understand what IT systems are mission-
critical for its operation as well as what information assets are of value to threat
actors and then provide these with enhanced protection. This means knowing not
only which are these systems and assets, but where they are located and who has
access to them. It also means understanding how these assets are related to each
other, what are the possible threats to them and what vulnerabilities (both
organizational and technological) can expose them to threat actors.
The result of this activity, which is also referred to as the OCTAVE (Operationally
Critical Threat, Asset, and Vulnerability Evaluation) methodology to information
security risks (Alberts and Dorofee 2002), is a set of critical system and information
asset risk profiles (Fig. 2). These profiles will enable decision making about resource
allocation to strengthen the cyber-defences of the organization and the development
of a cybersecurity strategy for their protection.
3.3. Cybersecurity Strategy, Mechanisms and Controls
The cyber-protection strategy should inform organizational policies and standards
covering three main areas: the organization’s human element, likelihood
management and consequence management.
Fig.2 Critical System and Information Asset Risk Profiling
Adapted from: Alberts and Dorofee (2002)
3.3.1. The Human Element
As discussed earlier in the chapter, cybersecurity is not only about technical defences
because the human element, inadvertent and malicious insiders (employees,
business partners and third-party vendors) account for the largest part of system
outages and data breaches. In many cases, the disconnect of the human element from
sound cybersecurity practice comes down to how organizations engage their
employees and generate awareness through their communications and training
programmes. One-size-fits-all programmes are generally ineffective; therefore, they
must be tailored to the organization, aligned with its operational goals and fit-for-
purpose for specific audiences. Training must be customised based on the trainees’
physical and network access levels, their privilege rights, and their job
responsibilities and focus on the specific threats, challenges, and responsibilities for
each position (i.e., the reservation agents’ curriculum will be different from the one
for the finance staff and from that for third-party vendors).
Policies and standards should define the organization’s and its ‘DexteR behavioural
expectations with regards to information management and IT systems’ usage and
maintenance (e.g., administrative access, password policies, social media, removable
media, reporting incidents, BYOD, etc.) and communicate the consequences for any
violation of those.
3.3.2. Likelihood Management
The second dimension of a cybersecurity strategy is the reduction of vulnerabilities in
an organization’s digital ecosystem through enhancement of defences and measures
that are proactively put in place to deter threat actors from attacking it. Decisions
need to be made and detailed standard operating procedures to be developed on key
cyber hygiene issues such as, for example, systems’ physical security, identity and
access management, third-party and external dependencies, network segmentation,
malware and patch management and information protection and encryption. It may
appear counter-intuitive, but travel and tourism organizations still have problems
with basic cyber hygiene issues such as access management. For example, according
to a Dashlane study (Katz 2018), 89% of travel-related sites leave their users’
accounts exposed to cybercriminals due to unsafe password practices. Of the 55
travel websites tested only Airbnb received full marks whereas large organizations
such as American Airlines, Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines failed the test.
As endpoints (POS, websites, BYOD, servers) are usual targets of cyberattacks,
robust preventive and detective capabilities must be developed at the endpoints
themselves to provide a layer beyond the network-centric IT security defences.
Endpoint security suites today include a variety of tools beyond simple antivirus
software and application firewalls and include Intrusion Detection/Protection
Systems (IDS/IPS) and Data Leakage Protection (DLP) solutions and other security
and incident/event monitoring mechanisms. The critical system and information
asset profiling will enable decisions on whether this level of endpoint security is
sufficient or if the organization needs to move to next generation’ (‘next-gen)
endpoint security. Often traditional IDS/IPS do not offer an adequate defence
mechanism. In November 2018, Radisson Rewards global loyalty programme
notified the public about a data breach which occurred in early September and
identified almost 20 days after its occurrence. Some reports on the breach suggested
that the hotel group’s intrusion detection capability was limited (Ashford 2018).
Next-gen endpoint security involves system behavioural analysis mechanisms for
abnormal software behaviour, traffic detection systems that recognize and block the
communication from a an infected file to the threat actor (e.g., notifying the actor
that the file has successfully infiltrated the system), and exploit mitigation
mechanisms that recognize thereat actors’ scripts and block them.
3.3.3. Consequence Management
The third dimension of a cybersecurity strategy is about the response of the
organization in the advent of an attack or a data breach. The organization must
develop a three-pronged crisis management plan which defines escalation and
prioritization processes to manage and coordinate IT, operational, and systems’
recovery issues related with a cyberattack and covers incident response, business
continuity and crisis communications. A multifunctional crisis management team
which, depending on the incident severity may include C-suite members, co-
ordinates all three aspects of the plan but dedicated expert teams should normally be
allocated for each one of these aspects.
Incident response concerns the cyber-attack itself (e.g., DDoS or ransomware attack)
and the team responsible for this must have substantial relevant expertise to address
all the technical and other challenges, such as negotiations with the threat actors, the
organization faces as a consequence of the incident. The team members must also
possess technical forensic and investigative skills that are vital to preserving evidence
and analysing possible control failures, security lapses, and other conditions related
to the incident. Incident response often requires the engagement of external help in
the form of ‘white hats’, cybersecurity consultants that can bring to the organization
specialist expertise required to deal with the incident and the investigation that will
follow in its aftermath.
The team dedicated to business continuity can be also part of the incident response
team. The focus of this team is for the organization to maintain its operational
capability during an incident through the protection of mission-critical systems or
the deployment of back-up systems. The team will also be involved in the recovery of
systems that failed or were damaged as a result of the attack and help in the
strengthening of the network security, the improvement of protocols and the
enhancement of vigilance after the incident.
The crisis communications team is the one who ensures accurate and timely flows of
information between the crisis teams internally and the organization and its
stakeholders externally. Back in 2015, Mandarin Oriental handled very poorly the
malware attack on their credit card systems which affected 2,850 California-based
guests. The hotel group admitted the attack in March 2015 and posted a notification
in its website just acknowledging that the breach started in June 2014 but not
providing any further information except that they had no evidence of misuse of the
data. However, cybersecurity researchers had already reported “about a pattern of
fraudulent charges on customer cards that had all recently been used at Mandarin
hotels” (Krebs 2015). The group did not notify any of the potentially affected guests
at the time of the notification and it was highly unlikely that guests that stayed in
their hotels since the previous June would check the website at all. Mandarin
officially reported the incident to the California authorities and started sending
notices to the affected guests on July 10, 2015.
In the US, regulation for reporting breaches is different from the EU’s GDPR and
organizations have more time to prepare their response before informing potentially
affected customers and the wider public. GDPR states a maximum time of 72 hours
for reporting, therefore Radisson Rewards’ data breach reporting which was late 20
days will be an interesting test case (Ashford 2018). Marriott, on the other hand, had
the time to prepare a comprehensive communications strategy that was rolled out
together with its data breach reporting (Table 1).
Table 1 Marriott/Starwood 2018 Data Breach Communication Strategy
Public notice of the incident via a press release and notification
banners across Marriott’s websites and the Marriott and
Starwood Preferred Guest apps.
E-mail notifications on a rolling basis to guests who had valid
email addresses in the affected databases.
Dedicated website to provide information and updates about
the incident in 20 languages.
Information about how potentially affected guests can monitor
and protect their data and details on web monitoring services.
Dedicated Call
Dedicated call centres most of which operated seven days per
week, to answer guests’ questions about the incident, multiple
Through February 28, 2019, the call centres had received
approx. 53,000 calls with average wait time in the United
States and Canada nine seconds.
Credit /
Personal Data
Two free monitoring solutions for potentially affected guests:
1. WebWatcher for US, UK and Canadian guests, offering also
fraud loss reimbursement coverage and unlimited fraud
consultation services for one year.
2. Experian for other countries with their IdentityWorks
Global Internet Surveillance product
Through February 28, 2019, approx. 250,750 guests had
activated WebWatcher and 36,000 guests had enrolled with
A process for guests to submit individual claims of fraud
related to this incident.
Source: Schaal (2012)
Apart from the crisis management plan, a useful reactive measure for a cyberattack is
a cyber-insurance policy. Although many organizations are reluctant to buy such a
cover, cyber-policies pay out despite the claim complexities an organization may
have to navigate. Marriott announced in March 2019 that the 2018 data breach had
costed the company, pre-tax, a total of $28 million, but those expenses were offset by
insurance recoveries of approximately $25 million (Olson 2019). Normally, the
organization will liaise with a specialist insurer or broker for a cyber-policy and will
get the opportunity to explore potential loss scenarios, gain a better understanding of
how a proposed coverage might respond in each of those scenarios and then make
any adjustments are deemed necessary. Cyber-insurance policies also offer access to
expert consultancy and support on how to manage the technical, legal and
reputational consequences of a cyberattack.
3.4. Systems Testing and Reviewing
The last step in building cybersecurity capability is the design of a process that
ensures that cybersecurity policy, standards, systems, measures and tools are
consistently and effectively used and regularly updated. To assess and benchmark
the effectiveness of its cybersecurity strategy the organization must develop audits
with actionable metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) focusing on the
degree of compliance with internal and external standards; financial impact of
incidents; key security projects/initiatives (status vs target and progress vs plan);
cybersecurity culture (measuring clarity of rules, practicability, visibility, staff
engagement, organizational and peer openness, exemplary behaviour and
enforcement); and overall cybersecurity maturity level (KPMG 2015).
The robustness of the organization’s cybersecurity defence mechanisms can be
evaluated with penetration testing (‘pen testing’) in which internal or external
penetration testers attempt to gain root access or other privileged control over an
organizations system, Wi-Fi network, website, mobile application or devices that
could be stolen and access to sensitive data. These tests facilitate the identification of
systems’ vulnerabilities and configuration issues before a thereat actor exploits them
(Maxwell 2019).
‘Red teaming’ exercises assess the cyber readiness and awareness of the organization
through customized scenario-based incident simulations. These simulations enable
the various blue teams (incident response, business continuity, communications
and crisis management team) to rehearse the crisis management plans for a realistic
cyber incident within a safe learning environment. Red teaming exercises increase
awareness of cyber threats, raise understanding of how varied and complex they can
be and improve understanding of roles, responsibilities and decisions required in
response to a cybersecurity incident (Maxwell 2019). They also offer a unique
opportunity to engage management at a C-suite level in the wider context of cyber
threats including issues with regards to human capital, technology capabilities and
limitations, legal and jurisdictional challenges, crisis communications, stakeholder
engagement, media, customer and external affairs.
In a dynamic environment where threat levels, actors and attack vectors are
constantly evolving, audits and tests run regularly, and their findings and outcomes
must inform updates and revisions of the organization’s cybersecurity strategy.
4. Future Cybersecurity Developments in Travel and Tourism
The future travel and tourism cyber-ecosystem will increasingly adopt new and
disruptive technologies to provide anytime and anywhere access. It will use
automation, virtualization, software-defined networks and hybrid data centres and
organizations in the sector will be required by their markets to architect more flexible
operationally secure environments. Many high-profile organizations in the sector
made the headlines over the last few years because they did not pay this second
requirement the attention that was needed.
Although admittedly, the awareness of cyber threats among organizations in the
sector is on the rise, threat actors are finding new and creative ways to achieve their
objectives. For instance they use legitimate file-sharing and questionnaire-hosting
services from trusted companies to avoid the blocking of their phishing attacks or
using takeaway restaurant websites as ‘watering holes’ to plant malware to
organizations’ networks when their employees browse the menu from their secure
devices (Kaushik 2019). As the threat landscape continues to grow, traditional
cybersecurity strategies and tools are gradually becoming ineffective. People,
processes, and technology have no option but to evolve so that they can support the
new enhanced security needs. The cybersecurity mindset in these organizations will
have to shift from reactive to proactive. So, instead of merely detecting malware and
attack vectors 20 or 50 days after they were installed and when they have already
caused damage, they will proactively search for malware and attackers that are
lurking in their networks before they are activated. This ‘threat hunting approach
(Kumar 2019) is the new strategy in cybersecurity which is now facilitated with
advanced Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions and AI technologies.
With so many security failures and breaches reported in the press, data protection
and privacy will become one of the sector’s competitive differentiators. Organizations
which treat this aspect just as a compliance exercise will eventually lose the trust of
the market. However, identity and access management will be seen more from a
customer perspective, and therefore inevitably, travel and tourism organizations will
look for solutions that offer them flexibility and adopt more the as-a-service delivery
models (e.g., IDaaS, PAMaaS, etc) that offer passwordless authentication, single
sign-on and user-friendly multi-factor biometric authentication (Gopalakrishnan
Finally, as more organizations in the sector move their IT infrastructure and data
centres to the cloud, the adoption of a ‘multi-cloud approach’ for distributed
reservations, yield and revenue management, channel/distribution management, call
centres, and content management are becoming more mainstream because it offers
flexibility, resilience and significant cost benefits (Hertzfeld 2019). However, the use
of multiple clouds increases the complexity of securely managing systems and
information assets and the likelihood of dis-jointed visibility and inconsistent
application of cybersecurity controls (Joseph 2019). The two main challenges for
travel and tourism organizations will be, first, to ensure PCI compliance when
personally identifiable data traverses multiple cloud boundaries and, second, to
devise an integrated threat prevention strategy and automated threat detection and
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... Moreover, cybersecurity is one of the threats to the overall safety and security of a destination because cyberattack can erode the trust and confidence of tourists as well as destination reputation. Hence, cyber security can be the tourism industr s competitive differentiator (Paraskevas, 2020). ...
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The development of ecotourism in Malaysia is crucial in the current digitalized world, as nature enthusiasts seek authentic travel experiences to reconnect with the environment. This study focuses on investigating the link between government tourism policy, health services, safety and security, destination competitiveness, and the moderating effect of mobile technology. The study was conducted on 170 domestic tourists who visited various national parks in Sarawak, Malaysia. The data collected has undergone preliminary analyses using SPSS 26.0 while the proposed study model was evaluated using WarpPLS 8.0, which allowed for path modelling and bootstrapping to obtain the estimates of standard error and p-values. The results indicated a significant direct relationship between health services and destination competitiveness. Mobile technology was found to moderate the relationship between government tourism policy, safety and security, and destination competitiveness. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the study was limited to domestic tourists, and the implications of these findings are discussed.
... A lack of safety and security could be detrimental to the tourism sector as it will spread unfavourable word-of-mouth (Perić et al., 2018). Additionally, a cyberattack can damage a destination's reputation as well as visitors' trust and confidence, making cybersecurity one of the threats to a destination's overall safety and security (Paraskevas, 2020). ...
Tourism is one of the rapid growing economic sectors in the world. Destination competitiveness became an imperative aspect for every country as it determines the tourism revenue of the country. Infrastructure is one of the determinants of destination competitiveness. There are two kinds of infrastructure namely hard infrastructure and soft infrastructure. The current study investigated the impact of hard infrastructure (transportation, telecommunication, accommodation) and soft infrastructure (government tourism policy, health services, and safety and security) on perceived destination competitiveness from tourists’ points of view. The study was conducted based on quantitative research. A PLS-SEM analysis was performed by using WarpPLS. The result indicated that transportation, accommodation, and health services have a significant relationship with perceived destination competitiveness. This study is expected to benefit policymakers and industry players in terms of decision-making. Besides, this study will equip more literature and evidence for scholars to perform further studies in the field.
... are sold average between $14 and $60 (Paraskevas, 2022). Cyber-attacks cause pilfered tourist identity information to be used for various purposes, costing the business as well. ...
Blockchain technology, as a distributed digital ledger, enables users to control their credentials without being breached by third parties. From a tourism perspective, it allows tourists to pass through checkpoints and/or bookings without waiting and having to go through third-party transactions. Hence, this paper aims to discuss traditional identity management (IdM) system challenges and what blockchain might offer as a counterpoint to conventional travel experiences within the tourism domain. We have tried to identify challenges, issues, and implementation areas of IdM in the tourism industry domain
... In travel and tourism, information security incident impacts reputation, financial, regulatory, and business disruption. The impact level is affected by factors such as threat actors, motivation, [20]. In another study, the risk of an information security incident is also affected by assets, domain, potential threats to the assets, and potential vulnerabilities [16]. ...
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Today, academic institution involves digital data to support the educational process. It has advantages, especially related to ease of access and process. However, security problems appear related to digital data. There were several information security incidents in the academic environment. In order to mitigate the problem, metrics identification is required to determine the risk of incidents. There are many risks model and metrics to estimate the risk, such as DREAD, OWASP, CVSS, etc. However, specific metrics are required to obtain appropriate risk values. Therefore, this study aims to define metrics for an academic institution. The proposed metrics are obtained from The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulation. It consists of directory information, educational information, personally identifiable information, and risk of information leakage. In order to achieve the objective, this study involves survey and reliability analysis to result in output. The survey is conducted by involving 90 respondents with various levels of education and jobs. The Cronbach's alpha and Test-retest are methods to determine this study's reliability. According to reliability analysis, the Cronbach's alpha method results in coefficients for the metrics between 0.730 - 0.911, while the Test-retest method results in coefficients between 0.630 - 0.797. These coefficients have a reliable category, so the proposed metrics are adequate for determining risk of information security incidents in academic environments. The reliable metrics will be developed as variables of the risk assessment model for the academic environment in the future study.
... Since in travel and tourism networks there is a large amount of personal data, from hotels, but also other companies in the sector such as airlines, tour operators or third-party booking platforms, personal data on passengers and tourists could be stolen, such as credit cards records, passport data, contact details, loyalty points, etc. Likewise, these companies may be victims of ransomware attacks, where criminals enter their information systems, encrypt data or hardware, and ask for a ransom to unlock data or machines (Chen & Fiscus, 2018;Paraskevas, 2020). ...
Tourism and crime are closely related phenomena, and security is one of the basic preconditions for the functioning of tourism since tourists and tourist areas have many characteristics that make them vulnerable to crime. In this chapter are presented the actual (objective) risk of crime and tourist victimization, visible in statistics on committed crimes and crime victims surveys, and the perceived (subjective) risk of crime, recorded in surveys conducted with tourists. The characteristics which influence the actual and perceived risk of crime and violence are presented by analysing three key elements in the relationship between tourism and crime: (1) tourist (these characteristics are classified as socio-demographic, socio-cultural and psychological) ; (2) trip (characteristics are the purpose of the trip, travel party, and stage of the trip); and (3) destination (characteristics are crime rates in destination, the occurrence of crime by place and time, type of accommodation and length of stay).
... A bűnbe eső turisták egy része kisebb-nagyobb közlekedési kihágásokat követ el (Castillo-Manzano et al. 2020), az adott desztináció törvényei szerint tiltott szolgáltatásokat (kábítószer, prostitúció, szerencsejáték) vesz igénybe vagy ilyeneket maga generál (Hall 1992), csempészet, orrgazdaság résztvevője lesz (Michalkó 2005). A turista akár áldozatként (Mátyás 2020a), akár elkövetőként (Mátyás 2020b) válik érintetté az utazása során bekövetkező jogsértésnek; az eset a turizmusbiztonság következő, egymást gyakran átfedő faktorainak elméleti keretei között kerül tárgyalásra: közbiztonság (Tokodi -Ritecz 2020a), fogyasztásbiztonság (Ernszt -Németh 2020), eligazodásbiztonság , egészségbiztonság (Tokodi -Ritecz 2020b), műszaki biztonság , környezetbiztonság ) és kiberbiztonság (Paraskevas 2020). ...
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Tanulmányunk során a turisztikai szolgáltatók rezilienciája alapelveinek és korábbi kutatásainak szakirodalmi áttekintését követően a hazai vonzerők üzemeltetői előtt álló, a koronavírus-járvány által generált kihívásokat és az ezekre adott válaszokat tekintjük át. Empirikus vizsgálatunk keretében interjúkat készítünk a turisztikai szolgáltatók rezilienciaszintjének mérése, valamint készenléti állapotának és válságkezelési gyakorlatának megismerése céljából, különös tekintettel a koronavírus-járvány hatásainak kezelésére. A természeti attrakciók és az ember alkotta vonzerők üzemeltetőit is górcső alá vesszük egy hazai turisztikai szolgáltatókból álló minta segítségével. Tanulmányunk végén javaslatokat fogalmazunk meg a turisztikai attrakciók üzemeltetői részére a reziliencia növelésére és a válságból való minél korábbi és minél hatékonyabb kilábalásra.
... A bűnbe eső turisták egy része kisebb-nagyobb közlekedési kihágásokat követ el (Castillo-Manzano et al. 2020), az adott desztináció törvényei szerint tiltott szolgáltatásokat (kábítószer, prostitúció, szerencsejáték) vesz igénybe vagy ilyeneket maga generál (Hall 1992), csempészet, orrgazdaság résztvevője lesz (Michalkó 2005). A turista akár áldozatként (Mátyás 2020a), akár elkövetőként (Mátyás 2020b) válik érintetté az utazása során bekövetkező jogsértésnek; az eset a turizmusbiztonság következő, egymást gyakran átfedő faktorainak elméleti keretei között kerül tárgyalásra: közbiztonság (Tokodi -Ritecz 2020a), fogyasztásbiztonság (Ernszt -Németh 2020), eligazodásbiztonság , egészségbiztonság (Tokodi -Ritecz 2020b), műszaki biztonság , környezetbiztonság ) és kiberbiztonság (Paraskevas 2020). ...
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A tanulmány fókuszában a TDMSZ-ek válság előtti online kommunikációja áll, kitérve a hivatalos, TDMSZ-ek által működtetett turisztikai weboldalakra és a legnépszerűbb közösségi média felületekre; valamint a koronavírus-járvány idején történő online megjelenéseikre. A kutatás célja, hogy feltárja a koronavírus-járvány megjelenését megelőző, s a járvány, mint krízis alatti kommunikáció változását; illetve rámutasson a járvány első és második (esetleg harmadik) hullámában tapasztalt esetleges különbségekre.
... Furthermore, given that tourism is a particularly important branch for the Mediterranean countries, where it has a significant share of the total GDP, countries must be aware of the importance of developing tourist protection mechanisms, which is especially significant due to the increasing importance and imperative of implementing technologies that are based on mutual communication and data collection. An insufficient level of security for the collected data may consequently result in a risk for tourists whose data is collected and stored in such databases (Paraskevas, 2022). Furthermore, considering that the imperative to use online booking is increasingly being placed, and this is especially important for tourists coming from different countries, it is necessary to take care of the security of the online booking service, since an insufficient level of security can result in the appearance of risks for the data that tourists leave on such services, that is, for the data saved in the online booking service databases (Fragniere and Yagci, 2021). ...
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The topic of cyber security in tourism is of particular importance since tourists in foreign countries are one of the most vulnerable groups due to a lack of knowledge of languages, laws, etc. With the increase in the number of technologies that enable interactivity, contactless payments, i.e., informative content for tourists, risks for the security of tourists' data as well as risks related to the theft of data on tourists' bank cards are emerging. In order to identify the current knowledge, i.e., the current situation in the context of research on cyber security in tourism, a bibliometric analysis was conducted, which indicated that an insufficient number of authors research cyber security and that there is not a sufficient number of studies that would analyze the mechanisms and measures of increasing cyber security in tourism. The importance of researching cyber security in tourism is based on the fact that tourism is a particularly vulnerable and sensitive branch of the economy to risks that affect tourists as such, and that it can depend on the reputation of the country, institutions, or hotels. The bibliometric analysis conducted in this paper is significant for future researchers considering that it can serve as a basis for researchers' focus on specific areas of cyber security.
... As organizations in the industry are constantly in a vulnerable situation to cyberattacks and other types of information thefts, cybersecurity is a major priority area for people in travel management professions (Chen & Fiscus, 2018). Since they engage a large number of people and also have access to a large amount of client data, travel businesses are a prime target for the aggressor (Paraskevas, 2020). Hacking and malicious software cyberattacks are two of the most common risks in this sector, but because of the modern reliance on data, firms are also vulnerable to human mistake created by their staff. ...
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Religious, pilgrimage/Hajj, and Halal tourism activities are becoming increasingly popular in Asia and the Middle East countries. Hajj and Halal tourism events are an ever-growing industry that is getting momentum. Tourists have a variety of reasons for visiting different places. Travelling for Halal or spiritual purposes seems to have been common in human history from the start of civilization. Halal tourism begins with a religious event in which the Hajj is regarded as a traveler with a religious motive. Travelers consider more than just Halal requirements; their motivation comes from religious, social, conventional, and landscape patterns, all of which interconnect in the anticipation and choice of trip locations. Although several studies have mostly concentrated on spiritual terminology and categorization or tourism effect research, the majority of the studies are in Halal, spiritual and pilgrimages. The study uses a method of research to summarize existing literature, concepts that are being discussed in the field of technological application in pilgrimages and Halal tourism events. It emphasizes the viable concept of tourism with huge prospects of the world of pilgrimage and Halal tourism. This chapter offers several recommendations for developing pilgrimage, religious value, and Halal tourist events in Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
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Дана стаття присвячена питанню прогнозування інформаційних трендів кібератак за допомогою побудови авторегресійних моделей. Розрахунки проводилися на основі даних Google Trends для соціальної інженерії, DoS-атак та атак на паролі користувачів за період з 28.01.2018 по 22.01.2023. Проведений тест Харке-Бера та аналіз гістограм розподілу встановили необхідність логарифмування даних соціальної інженерії та атак на паролі користувачів. Розширений тест Дики-Фулера підтвердив стаціонарність рядів соціальної інженерії та DoS-атак. Декомпозиція трендів виявила наявність сезонної компоненти для соціальної інженерії та атак на паролі користувачів. В результаті для DoS-атак побудовано ARMA-модель, для інших рядів – SARIMA із сезонною та авторегресійною компонентами. Тести верифікації залишків та прогнозів виявили задовільною модель для DoS-атак, соціальної інженерії – високого рівня, хоча із наявною автокореляцією залишків для сезонного лагу, для атак на паролів користувачів – високого рівня, але із наявною гетероскедастичністю залишків.
Conference Paper
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The concept of Digital Extended Enterprise is presented as a form of highly competitive manufacturing network. The maturity model of digital extended enterprise is defined as a method for the management of the development of manufacturing networks. The research methods of this paper are literature studies in many topics as well as action research with five industrial companies. Our findings support the use of the digital maturity model in the qualitative assessment of development projects. The quantified business indicators can be used for evaluating the attained benefits, while the maturity model is used for assessing the development efforts and steps taken. A dependency matrix for studying the maturity model is defined. We address the oversimplification problem of maturity modelling and suggest the use of dependency matrix to alleviate the oversimplification problem, to improve the maturity model and to enhance the knowledge on the development of digital extended enterprise.
This book explores a broad cross section of research and actual case studies to draw out new insights that may be used to build a benchmark for IT security professionals. This research takes a deeper dive beneath the surface of the analysis to uncover novel ways to mitigate data security vulnerabilities, connect the dots and identify patterns in the data on breaches. This analysis will assist security professionals not only in benchmarking their risk management programs but also in identifying forward looking security measures to narrow the path of future vulnerabilities.
On 25 August 2000, stockholders were stunned by news that server and storage provider Emulex was revising its earnings from a per-share gain to a loss, while lowering its reported net earnings from the previous quarter as well. Within minutes, Emulex shares plummeted. Yet none of this news fostered by a hacker's bogus press release - was true. The Emulex case illustrates the speed, scale, and subtlety with which networked information can propagate and how quickly severe consequences can occur. This rapid dissemination, which makes such cognitive hacking possible, is forcing security researchers to look at yet another class of countermeasures - a class far different from solutions that seek to secure technology and network infrastructure.
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