Hackers Disable Door Locks at Four-Star Hotel, Demand Ransom

Hackers recently breached the internal systems at Austria’s four-star, 111-year-old Romantik Seehotel Jagerwirt, according to Bleeping Computer.

The hackers disabled both the hotel’s electronic door locks and the reservation system, meaning that new keys couldn’t be generated and reservations couldn’t be checked or confirmed.

They demanded 2 Bitcoins (almost $2,000) to return control of the systems back to the hotel — and the hotel says it had no option but to pay the ransom.

“The house was totally booked with 180 guests, we had no other choice,” hotel managing director Christoph Brandstaetter told The Local. “Neither police nor insurance help you in this case.”

This was the third recent cyber attack for the hotel, Brandstaetter said. A fourth attempt soon after was only blocked because computers had been replaced and new security standards implemented.

“The restoration of our system after the first attack in summer has cost us several thousand Euros,” Brandstaetter said. “We did not get any money from the insurance so far because none of those to blame could be found.”

In response to the hack, Brandstaetter said the hotel has one unique security solution in the works. “We are planning at the next room refurbishment for old-fashioned door locks with real keys,” he said. “Just like 111 years ago at the time of our great-grandfathers.”

According to the results of a recent 451 Research survey of almost 1,000 enterprise IT buyers worldwide, 50 percent of respondents said security is the top impediment for IoT deployments.

Still, enterprises are moving ahead with IoT initiatives, with 90 percent of enterprises planning to increase IoT spending over the next year.

Respondents’ mean IoT-related spending is expected to increase by 33 percent over the next 12 months.

While 54 percent of respondents said a lack of trained IoT staff is not an issue for their organizations, 46 percent said they’re having difficulty filling IoT-related positions.

“When it comes to IoT adoption, pragmatism rules,” 451 Research director Laura DiDio said in a statement. “The survey data indicates enterprises currently use IoT for practical technology purposes that have an immediate and tangible impact on daily operational business efficiencies, economies of scale and increasing the revenue stream.”

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman is an eSecurity Planet contributor.

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