Marriott caught scamming guests out of wireless network connections

Marriott stops jamming guest Wi-Fi in policy reversal

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Marriott stops jamming guest Wi-Fi in policy reversal

 

Contrary to Marriott’s previous stance on “jamming” guest-created hotspots and charging consumers and small business exorbitant fees to use the hotel’s own wireless network, the hotel chain recently announced it would not block guests from using personal hotspots at any of their managed hotels.

After charging customers at conferences upwards of $250-$1000 to access WiFi at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Nashville Convention Center, the FCC fined the hotel giant $600,000, finding the practice in violation of one of its own advisories that forbids blocking, jamming, or interfering with authorized radio communications, including WiFi.

In some cases Marriott was disconnecting customers’ devices, giving them no other option but to use the hotel’s wireless network. In late December the company clarified its position, stating their only intent was to block personal hotspots in convention spaces, not guest rooms.

Regardless of Marriott’s intentions, they were under mounting pressure to back off the plan, as consumers complained the hotel giant was simply trying to charge guests under the guise of being concerned about various security issues, such as rogue networks and fraud.

Can shutting down rogue access points actually prevent or decrease the risk of a security breach? Even WPA2-Enterprise users can fall victim to a wireless man-in-the-middle attack. If the device is not configured properly for the encrypted connection, anyone can broadcast an imitation SSID and intercept confidential information, such as usernames and passwords.

Incorrectly configured devices can leave users vulnerable to a plethora of attacks. An automated configuration solution will get your users configured in minutes, ensuring your company is going the extra mile when it comes to best-in-class wireless security.