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Hackers Lock Hotel Guests with Ransomware

News Cyber security has become a hot topic these days, and not only governments or large companies, but also ordinary travellers can suffer from actions of hackers. Several unlucky guests of the Romantik Seehotel Jagerwir in the Alps became nearly locked in their guestrooms after a group of hackers had hijacked the key management system.

The luxurious hotel in the Alps was clearly not ready to deal with the hacker attack. The cyber criminals used ransomware to take over the whole hotel management system. Guests couldn’t use key cards to enter their guestrooms, it was not possible to program new key cards, and all management systems like booking and cashier were also controlled by the hackers. The hijackers asked quite a modest fee of 1,500 euro in bitcoin for return of the control over the hotel system. The management of the Romantik Seehotel Jagerwir had nothing else to do but to pay the ransom as they had hotel guests waiting. Once the money was transferred, the hotel’s systems started working as usual, but the hackers left a backdoor so they could return anytime.

In order to escape such problems in future, the Romantik Seehotel Jagerwir acted quickly and changed their existing systems. They also delinked some computers in order to protect basic services from internet attacks. The hotel is now thinking of returning to traditional locks and keys in guestrooms, just like they did during most of its 111 year long history.

Cases of hackers hijacking files and asking for ransom become more and more common. Last year a Hollywood hospital had their patients’ base locked and had to pay $17,000 to regain access to the files, and a Canadian university received a demand of $20,000 from attackers who had hacked their network.


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