Hackers infects Hotel Lock system with malware, Locks up hundreds of guests


 One of Europe's top hotels has admitted that they had to pay cybercriminals in thousands when the hackers compromised their electronic key systems, locking hundreds of guests in and outside of their hotel rooms.

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The Romantik Seehotel jaegerwirt, an Austrian luxurious 4-star hotel with a beautiful lakeside setting on the alpine Turracher Hoeche Pass, said that they decided to make this public so as to warn others and at the same time encourage the fight against cybercrime.

 According to the Hotel managing Director Christoph Brandsaetter, the hotel has a modern IT system which include key card for access. The management said that they have been attacked twice by the same cybercriminals who eventually on the third time managed to hijack their entire lock system, shutdown all the hotel computers including the reserve and cash desk systems of the hotel.

 The hotel eventually paid 1,500 EUR (1,272 GBP) in bitcoin to the hackers who promised to restore their systems once the amount was paid to them.

"The house was totally booked with 180 guests, we had no other choice. Nether Police nor insurance could help you in this case, the managing director said.
"The restoration of our system after the first attack in summer has cost us several Euros. We did not get any money from the insurance so far because none of those to blame could be found," he said.

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The hotel management said that the hackers unlocked their systems and everything returned back to normal as it were before. Still, the hackers left a backdoor open in their systems and then tried to strike for the fourth time but this time, their computer and security systems had an upgrade with the latest security standard while some networks were shutdown.

So far, the managements of Seehotel Jaegerwirt plans to revert to an old fashion way to bypass this kind of hack in case it occurs again.

"We are planning at our next room refurbishment for old-fashioned door locks with real keys. Just like 111 years ago at the time of our great-grandfathers," Brandstaetter said.

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