What’s the worst that could happen when a Ransomware hits a Hotel?
Furious hotel managers at the Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt, a luxurious 4-star hotel with a beautiful lakeside setting on the Alpine Turracher Hoehe Pass in Austria, said they decided to go public with what happened to warn others of the dangers of cybercrime.
And they said they wanted to see more done to tackle cybercriminals as this sort of activity is set to get worse. The hotel has a modern IT system which includes key cards for hotel doors, like many other hotels in the industry.
Hotel management said that they have now been hit three times by cybercriminals who this time managed to take down the entire key system. The guests could no longer get in or out of the hotel rooms and new key cards could not be programmed.
The attack, which coincided with the opening weekend of the winter season, was allegedly so massive that it even shut down all hotel computers, including the reservation system and the cash desk system.
Today, we are living in a digital age that is creating a digital headache for people and organizations around the world with cyber attacks and data breaches on the rise.
Ransomware is one of them.
The threat has been around for a few years, but during 2016, it has turned into a noxious game of Hackers to get paid effortlessly by targeting hospitals, Universities, private businesses and even police departments and making hundreds of millions of dollars.
According to the hotel management, the hotel has been hit multiple times by hackers, but this time they managed to take down the entire key system, preventing its guests to getting in or going out of their rooms, reported The Local.
Besides gaining control of the electronic key system, the hackers even gained control over the general computer system, shutting down all hotel computers, including the reservation system and the cash desk system.
Once the hotel made the payment, the system was completely restored that allowed the hotel staff to gain access to the network and hotel guests to enter and exit their rooms.
What’s interesting? Even after the hotel fulfilled the hackers demand, the hackers left a backdoor to the hotel system in an attempt to conduct another cyber attack later.
“The house was totally booked with 180 guests; we had no other choice. Neither police nor insurance helps you in this case.
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.”
The Ransomware had stolen the nights of many businesses and organizations, as they would often be blamed to fight up to this nasty threat.
Ransomware criminals often demand the ransom in Bitcoin (BTC) for the surety of not getting caught, as Bitcoin transactions are non-trackable due to its decentralized nature.
The frequent payment to Ransomware encourages criminals to stash the cash and develop a more enticing framework for the next target. So, instead of paying or encouraging this scheme, keep your software and systems updated and avoid clicking suspicious links.