In October, hotel insurance-related company Petra Risk Solutions issued its hotel clients an alert headlined, “Crime Alert – Onity Guestroom Door hackers are for real.”
In Florida, Petra loss prevention expert Todd Seiders said he received reports that a hacker had been seen carrying a laptop and using a key card – possibly connected to the laptop – to open locked guestroom doors.
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 updated.
The hacking tool, according to Petra’s alert, could be made for about $50 in easy-to-acquire electronic parts.
“Please train and notify your hotel staff that these burglaries are spreading across the country,” Petra’s alert cautioned hoteliers. “Hotel staff should be vigilant while they are on the guest floors and paying attention to guests walking through hallways…Take time to watch guests walking through your hallways to ensure they are going to a room and entering it. Be very suspicious of someone carrying a laptop or small bag wandering the hallways. Greet guests and ask them if they need assistance.”
Onity did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment about the issue. But in a statement updated for December on its website, Onity says that as of Nov. 30, it has shipped hardware to fix 1.4 million hotel door locks. The hardware includes mechanical caps and security screws that “block physical access to the lock ports that hackers use to illegally break into hotel rooms.”
For more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/hotelcheckin/2012/12/14/hotels-fixing-flaw-that-made-room-locks-vulnerable-to-hackers/1769081/