Security & Privacy

Wary of Insecure IoT, Hotels Reconsider Old-Fashioned Keys

The Romantik Seehotel Jägerwirt in Austria looks lovely, but its remoteness does not protect it from cybercrime. (photo Romantik Seehotel Jägerwirt)

The Romantik Seehotel Jägerwirt in Austria looks lovely, but its remoteness does not protect it from cybercrime. (photo Romantik Seehotel Jägerwirt)

For today’s Most-Techonomic-Article-Award, the prize goes to this New York Times piece about a successful “ransomware” attack in January on a resort hotel in the Austrian Alps. A hacker infiltrated the hotel’s network and succeeded in locking all the rooms, rendering keycards unusable. The owner relented and paid an $1800 ransom–in Bitcoin! The article explains that ransomware criminals deliberately set ransoms low so victims are more likely to just give in and pay. It’s another sign of how quickly the business and social landscape is changing in a connected age. Many good changes, and many bad ones alongside.

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