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Hackers make Door Locks of Hotel Inoperable with Ransomware Attack


A hackers' gang created trouble for many travelers on journey in the Alp Mountains as it utilized ransomware for preventing guests lodged at a luxury hotel named Romantik Seehotel Jagerwir from entering their rooms because the malware compromised the hotel's main key management mechanism.

Unauthorized persons infiltrated the electronically managed key mechanism of the hotel that barred the hotel from accessing its own PC network so the guests were held up inside the lobby leading to uncertainty and panic.

The Local, a European news publication in English language reported that guests putting up at the picturesque hotel in Austria found the key cards of their rooms unable to open the door locks. There was also little scope for configuring fresh key cards. The hacking attack had also compromised cash-desk mechanism and reservation system of the establishment. TNW posted this online dated January 30, 2017.

The entire hacking attack was to earn a ransom amounting merely EUR 1,500 (USD 1,605) worth bitcoin. Romantik Seehotel Jagerwir stated it was forced to make the ransom payment so the problem could be resolved fast. Thus as it paid up the sum, the hotel's systems returned to normal. Unfortunately, the hackers continued their destruction leaving a backdoor so they could let themselves access the hotel's systems again.

But the hotel took some quick actions. It substituted its existing systems. Not only that, it as well quarantined a few PCs so essential services could continue should another attack occur.

In 2016, ransomware incidences were terrible enough. A Hollywood based hospital encountered blockage of its patient data while was demanded of USD17,000 by the attackers while an university in Canada had to give up $20K for restoring usability of their hacked systems.

Now it can only be hoped that incidences as above will work out as reminders to people about the risks that ransomware pose while ignite caution in them towards enforcing advanced security infrastructure.

The Romantik Seehotel Jagerwir says it has dealt sufficiently of hackers so it was reverting to utilizing the conventional system of locks-and-keys to operate safety of the room doors in its building.

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