Hackers Hold Hotel Ransom After Attacking Smart Locks

Jan 30, 2017

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It seems like the Internet of Things has made it squarely on to the radar of hackers, recently at the expense of an Austrian hotel called the Seehotel Jägerwirt. Hackers launched an attack that hijacked the property’s “smart locks.” Guest room locks were overridden by the hackers, preventing guests from accessing their rooms and preventing staff from issuing new electronic keys.

The attackers demanded a ransom in exchange for control over the hotel’s smart locks. With a hotel full of guests and not many options, the four-star resort decided to pay the ransom — €1,500 worth of Bitcoin.

The attack is not the first the hotel has experienced, but actually the fourth in a series of hacks that has also crippled its reservations system. The property has already doled out thousands in ransom payments for the other attacks.

This lakeside Austrian hotel has been the victim of several cyber attacks. Image courtesy of the hotel.

According to the hotel’s Managing Director Christoph Brandstätter, no guests were locked in their rooms, because fire codes require that electronic hotel locks must open from the inside. Police have no leads on who might have hacked the resort’s systems.

These attacks show the vulnerability of the Internet of Things, or “smart” devices that are connected to the internet. Along with spending €10,000 on digital security systems, Brandstätter says the hotel will be installing traditional locks in its next renovation.

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.

H/T: Fortune

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