Onity Lock Hack Used in Hotel Room Robberies

According to Forbes’ Andy Greenberg, a laptop was stolen in September from the Hyatt hotel room of Dell IT services consultant Janet Wolf via a hack that had been demonstrated by Cody Brocious at Black Hat 2012.

“Police told NBC News that they arrested Matthew Allen Cook on Oct. 31, after the stolen laptop showed up at a pawn shop and employees identified the suspect,” writes NBC News’ Devin Coldewey.

“While police won’t release information on how the room was broken into, Hyatt franchisee White Lodging believes the room was accessed using Brocious’ hack,” writes The Verge’s Kimber Streams.

“Two days after the break-in, a letter from hotel management confirmed [that the] room’s lock hadn’t been picked, and hadn’t been opened with any key,” Greenberg writes. “Instead, it had been hacked with a digital tool that effortlessly triggered its opening mechanism in seconds. The burglary, one of a string of similar thefts that hit the Hyatt in September, was a real-world case of a theoretical intrusion technique researchers had warned about months earlier — one that may still be effective on hundreds of thousands or millions of locks protecting hotel rooms around the world.”

“Insurance brokers interviewed by Forbes said they expected knowledge of the vulnerability to spread quickly even though many users of Onity locks have replaced or fixed their locks,” BBC News reports. “‘We’re going to get hit hard over the next year,’ Todd Seiders, a spokesman for Petra Risk Solutions, told Forbes.”

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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