Marriott Reverses Personal WiFi Blocking - InformationWeek

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Marriott Reverses Personal WiFi Blocking
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David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/15/2015 | 5:36:49 PM
Re: Next Up: Letting You Bring Your Own Coffee
@Curt- And Blackhat, too. Get them together for a very interesting but very frightening talk. :)
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
1/15/2015 | 4:17:34 PM
Re: Next Up: Letting You Bring Your Own Coffee
@Dave, I know this is the sort of thing that the team running the wireless network at Interop has to deal with on a regular basis. Now that I think about it, this might be a great topic for an upcoming episode of Interop Radio!
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/15/2015 | 3:50:00 PM
Re: Next Up: Letting You Bring Your Own Coffee
@Curt- It definitley happens. While covering a conference in Vegas, I attempted to login to Wifi at my hotel. I found multiple wifi names and didn't know which to select. One had the exact name of the hotel. A few others had initials that included that of the hotel. I decided to click on the strongest one which was the one with the hotel;s full name. 

I was taken just like any other wifi to a splash page. The splash page had a picture of the hotel and a logo and looked official. Except I noticed it had a couple of typos. And the language wasn't what i was used to seeing. And it asked for my credit card and did not give me a bill to room option. I got suspicious. 

I went to the little book they leave in every room and discovered that I had not clicked on the right one. Clearly someone was spoofing from a nearby room or area. I'm sure there are even more sophisticated plans that that. But if those folks had hired an editor like me, they'd have my credit card info now. 
Curt Franklin
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Curt Franklin,
User Rank: Strategist
1/15/2015 | 3:40:15 PM
Re: Next Up: Letting You Bring Your Own Coffee
@Dave, you're quite right: If giving the hotel money for WiFi meant that you got really great WiFi, then it would be different. To fork over $12 a day for performance that brings on flashbacks to bad dialup is just insulting.

I've spoken with network security folks who say that the security angle is not completely specious. I can agree with their logic but maintain that there simply must be better ways to deal with man in the middle attacks (their main concern).  As politicians are fond of saying, "the optics are bad" for Marriott on this one and they should be able to find smart people who can come up with decent solutions that don't smack of extortion.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
1/15/2015 | 1:59:05 PM
Next Up: Letting You Bring Your Own Coffee
Oh good, pop the champagne. One thing that saddens me is that the airline and hotel industries are trying to one up each other on the add-on front. Hotels have always had minibars and that bottle of water calling to you on the TV. Heck, I remember when I was a kid, stay in hotels that had coin op TV. Wifi was the new checked baggage of the industry. It was used like a bargaining chip to give away free to VIPs or for cheaper hotels to entice you with. 

You know what I'd like? I'd like to know what I'm really paying. I'd like to not fuss with 20 minutes of logging in and giving my credit card info just to use really slow wifi. 

Security issue or not, the real issue is still how offputting the whole wifi issue really is.


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