Ransomware infected systems at a luxury hotel locking guests in and out of the rooms

Pierluigi Paganini January 29, 2017

The Romantik Seehotel Jäegerwirt 4-Star Superior Luxury Hotel was hit by a ransomware attack that locked guests in and out of the rooms.

Another singular incident involved a ransomware, the victims are hundreds of guests of a luxurious hotel in Austria, the Romantik Seehotel Jäegerwirt 4-Star Superior Hotel. The guests were locked in or out of their rooms. The malware infected the systems at the hotel and its administration opted to pay the ransom to restore a normal operation.

luxury hotel ransomware

The administration of the Romantik Seehotel Jäegerwirt 4-Star Superior Hotel has admitted having paid €1,500 in Bitcoin to restore the electronic key card system that was compromised by the ransomware.The luxury hotel uses the electronic key card system to manage key cards of the hotel doors.

This isn’t the first cyber attack suffered by the luxury hotel, the hotel management confirmed its systems have been hit multiple times, but this time crooks compromised the internal key management system.

According to the news agency, cyber criminals gained control over the general computer system paralyzing almost any activity at the luxury hotel, including the reservation system and the cash desk system.

“One of Europe’s top hotels has admitted they had to pay thousands in Bitcoin ransom to cybercriminals who managed to hack their electronic key system, locking hundreds of guests in or out of their rooms until the money was paid.” reported The Local website. 

I always suggest avoiding the payment of the ransom because there is no certainty that the files are decrypted.  Fortunately, in the specific case, after the hotel management paid the ransom the systems were completely restored.

But never trust a cyber criminal!

Even after the payment of the ransom, hackers left a backdoor to the hotel system and conduct further attacks later.

The IT staff at the hotel detected the backdoor and neutralized it, it also adopted further security measures to repel further attacks.

Hotel managers decided to publicly disclose the story to warn hotel about the dangers of cyber attack.

“The house was totally booked with 180 guests; we had no other choice. Neither police nor insurance helps you in this case.” explained the Managing Director Christoph Brandstaetter.

“The restoration of our system after the first attack in summer has cost us several thousand Euros. We did not get any money from the insurance so far because none of those to blame could be found. Every euro that is paid to blackmailers hurts us. We know that other colleagues have been attacked, who have done similarly.”

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Luxury hotel, ransomware)

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