Hyatt House Galleria in Houston, Texas, falls prey to door lock hackers

28 Nov, 2012 By: Elliott Mest

The Hyatt House Galleria in Houston, Texas, was recently home to a string of room thefts by hackers exploiting a flaw in the hotel's electronic room locks. According to TG Daily, Mozilla software developer Cody Brocious was able to demonstrate the methods required to open the hotel door locks at the Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas using inexpensive hardware that is widely available. This hack has now been proven effective with the arrest of 27-year-old Matthew Allen Cook, who was apprehended after a laptop stolen from Galleria hotel was found in a pawn shop and traced to him.

"Immediately following the hacker's public presentation of illegal methods of breaking into hotel rooms, Onity engineers quickly developed both mechanical and technical solutions to address the issue," electronic lock-maker Onity told the BBC. "These solutions have been tested and validated by two independent security firms, and are available to customers worldwide. All requests for these solutions have already been fulfilled, or are in the process of being fulfilled."

Onity is also offering a more permanent fix to the security breach involving an upgraded circuit board or new lock, but these upgrades must be fitted at the hotel owners' cost. Security consultant Alan Woodward informed the BBC that the most widespread means used to secure the doors so far was to seal the power-port-like hole used to access the locks shut, sometimes with an adhesive such as glue.

According to PC World, Brocious crticized the decision to cover up the hole rather than replace the internal components required for the hack to be effective. “Given that it won’t be a low-cost endeavor, it’s not hard to imagine that many hotels will choose not to properly fix the issues, leaving customers in danger,” Brocious said.

Topic : Hyatt house Houston/Galleria, Onity, Hackers, Door Locks
External Source : TG Daily, BBC, PC World

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