Well, It’s happened.

This is a post series on cyber crime. For more posts click here or the cybercrime tag below.

A hotel was locked out of its key system by ransomware. From the sounds of it, the ransomware encrypted the file used maintain the key system, rendering it useless and unable to issue new keys.




This is likely to be the way things go as more devices connect to the internet one way or another.  In this case it probably an excel file that the key program used as a parking space for the key codes(note to programmers, use your own file formats for stuff like this). In any case the hotel was locked out of their own key system because the master file was encrypted.  I hope that it was only the key system as I can imagine if the same program were sued for room charges and such, all operating out of the same excel spreadsheet.  Ultimately, I suspect that any computer that handles key business functions, let alone security will have to be set up so that the system doesn’t talk to the net at all. That’s the only real way to keep ransomware from trashing your business just because somebody clicked on an invoice that they didn’t realize was fake.

Here’s the week in ransomware.




  1. MishaBurnett · February 5, 2017

    First off, I wish that people would stop saying that guests were locked in their rooms–fire codes prevent that (as the second article makes clear).

    Second, replacing the current access control hardware with mechanical locks sounds like a PR move–it would be far simpler to keep the existing hardware and install a dedicated access control system that is not connected to the internet (which is what I would have advised from the beginning.)

    The problem is not the electronic keycard locks–the problem is that the controller for the keycards was connected to the internet. There was no functional reason to do that–surely it would not have been a great hardship for hotel clerks to enter guest information twice, using two different keyboards. Someone just sold the hotel on having all the functions integrated into one system.

    I have been saying this for a while now–don’t have systems that control mission critical building management functions (security, HVAC, water, power) connected to the internet. There is no good reason for remote access on those systems–the responsible party should be on site before making any changes to the systems.


  2. penneyvanderbilt · February 5, 2017

    Reblogged this on PenneyVanderbilt and commented:
    Yes. More and more of this is going on


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