Luxury hotels hit by cyber attack claims

Hotel owners are staying tight-lipped over a cyber attack on their networks during high-level meetings in the venues.

Swiss authorities have searched a house in Geneva and seized computer material in connection with a possible cyber attack during nuclear negotiations between Iran and six other nations, including the US.

Austrian detectives are also investigating the case, which came to light when Russian computer security company Kaspersky Lab said a computer virus was used to hack into locations, including three luxury hotels, that had hosted negotiations.

The talks have been held in Vienna, Geneva, Lausanne, Montreux and Munich.

Hotels that have hosted the negotiations include the Palais Wilson and Intercontinental in Geneva, the Beau Rivage in Lausanne and the Royal Plaza in Montreux.

Kaspersky said a spy virus dubbed Dugu 2.0 appeared to have compromised computer networks in at least three Swiss hotels that had been host to senior diplomats from Iran and the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

The firm said it believed the malware included “some unique and earlier unseen features” which made its creators feel confident no traces could be left. The carefully planned and sophisticated nature of the attacks led the security firm to believe that a nation state sponsored the campaign.

Dugu is related to Stuxnet, a computer worm believed to have been designed by Israel to sabotage Iran’s uranium enrichment programme.

A spokeswoman for the Beau-Rivage Palace said it was carrying out its own enquires to see if its security has been breached.

She told CN: “At this stage it is a supposition and we work on the analysis. As a meeting venue, we strongly believe in the importance of a high security and our clients trust our services. We provide individual networks for meeting organisers. Meeting organisers and our in-house coordinators have constant exchanges before and during the meetings in order to answer positively to all specific technical demands.”

John Keenan

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John Keenan

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