Monday, December 17, 2012

UPDATE: $50 Hacking Device Opens Millions of Hotel Room Locks

The locks on more than 1 million guestroom doors are in various stages of being repaired, following the revelation this summer that they may be vulnerable to hackers.

The New York Marriott Marquis, the biggest hotel in Manhattan, for instance, just completed updating all of its nearly 2,000 door locks. The hotel is one of thousands of properties with guestroom locks manufactured by Onity, a division of United Technologies.

An Onity website also shows Sheraton, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, Fairmont, Radisson and other well-known hotels from Paris to Perth as also having its locks changed.

The lock scandal began as a hacker exercise. During a technology conference, an attendee revealed that he'd found a security flaw -- a way to electronically unlock a common, electronic hotel-door lock using inconspicuous tools. Other hackers checked out his claim and verified it. Their methods eventually showed up in a series of YouTube videos. (more) (and here!)