Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Photo Courtesy: hotel.kasaulicastle.com

Two in three hotel websites leak guest booking details and allow access to their personal data to third-party sites such as advertisers and analytics companies, a new report by California-headquartered global cybersecurity company Symantec said on Thursday.

“I tested multiple websites, including more than 1,500 hotels in 54 countries, to determine how common this privacy issue is. I found that two in three or 67 per cent of these sites are inadvertently leaking booking reference codes to third-party sites such as advertisers and analytics companies,” Candid Wueest, Principal Threat Researcher, Symantec, said in a statement.


All of the hotels did have a privacy policy but none of them mentioned this behaviour explicitly.

Notably, it has been almost a year since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in Europe, but many hotels affected by this issue have been very slow to acknowledge, much less address it.

However, some reservation systems were commendable as they only revealed a numerical value and the date of the stay and did not divulge any personal information. But a majority of them leaked personal data including full name, email address, postal address, mobile phone number, last four digits of credit card, card type and expiration date, and passport number.


A deliveryman walks near entrance of a JW Marriott hotel in Beijing, China, Jan. 11, 2018. VOA

Over half (57 per cent) of the sites that were tested send a confirmation email to customers with a direct access link to their booking. This is provided for the convenience of the customer, thus, allowing them to simply click on the link and go straight to their reservation without having to log in.

“Since the email requires a static link, HTTP POST web requests are not really an option, meaning the booking reference code and the email are passed as arguments in the URL itself.

Also Read- Astronaut Floats in Space on Mural Sporting a Gandhi Patch on Shoulder

“On its own, this would not be an issue. However, many sites directly load additional content on the same website, such as advertisements. This means that direct access is shared either directly with other resources or indirectly through the referrer field in the HTTP request,” Wueest noted.

“My tests have shown that an average of 176 requests are generated per booking, although not all these requests contain the booking details. This number indicates that the booking data could be shared quite widely,” he added. (IANS)


Popular

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Ninety-eight per cent of Indian travellers say they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the coming year.

A Travel Sustainable badge, provides highly coveted information to travellers all over the world looking to make more sustainable travel choices. Booking.com has launched the Travel Sustainable Badge, a first of its kind in the industryNinety-eight per cent of Indian travellers say they want to stay in a sustainable accommodation in the coming year, and with more than 28 million listings on Booking.com, the company sees a huge opportunity to highlight more of the impactful efforts its partners are making to create more sustainable experiences, making it easier for travellers to find a sustainable way to stay.

silhouette of man holding luggage inside airport Booking.com has launched the Travel Sustainable Badge, a first of its kind in the industry | Photo by yousef alfuhigi on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less

South Korean game developer has introduced a new initiative for Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) which will enable a new level of parental control via time limitations and OTP confirmation. The 'Game Responsibly' initiative will also show warning messages along with break reminders, game limits and more. "Every player, below the age of 18, needs to register a parent or a guardian before they start playing for the first time. An OTP will be sent to the registered person's number, post which the minor is allowed to play the game," the company said in a statement.

Some games can get intense and make players lose track of time. However, with timely break-time reminders, the developer has made sure players get the required downtime. These reminders will help them look up from their game and get back to real life, maintaining a healthy game-life balance. In addition, with a strict gameplay limit in place players below 18 years must not indulge in gaming for more than 3 hours per day. This automatically helps them treat gaming as an activity performed in moderation.

The brand has also set an in-game daily spend limit of Rs 7,000 that automatically stops them from overspending and overgaming. Krafton recently announced that it has removed 25 lakh accounts in just over a month to eradicate cheating on Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI). Since the last announcement, between October 1 and November 10, Krafton banned 25,19,692 accounts permanently and 7,06,319 temporarily. "The company has cleaned out most of the cheaters in the game, making BGMI a much more fun experience, and will continue to take whatever step is necessary to keep BGMI fair and fun," it claimed. (IANS/ MBI)


Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Flickr

Proper assessment is done before deciding on the approach to the treatment plan.

By Vinoda Kumary

The rise in air pollution, coupled with lousy lifestyle habits, is causing a spike in respiratory diseases. According to a Lancet report, the contribution of chronic respiratory diseases in India increased from 4.5 per cent in 1990 to 6.4 per cent in 2016. With respiratory issues on the rise, there is an increased demand for natural solutions to treat such issues. Instead of conventional medicine, people are turning to alternative medical therapies to find cures for ailments.

Common Lung Disorders

Bronchial Asthma
Bronchitis is a health condition that causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs. This leads to narrowing of the air pathways and excess mucus causes wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. It is a chronic condition that interferes seriously with daily life.

An Asthma patient taking medication using an inhaler Bronchitis is a health condition that causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs. | Wikimedia Commons

Keep reading... Show less