Criminals targeted a high-end hotel in Austria with ransomware that locked staff and guests out of the computer system – and their hotel rooms. On the first night of the winter season, electronic key cards for 180 guests stopped working as criminals took the hotel’s IT offline. A low ransom was demanded and, seeing no alternative, the hotel owners paid up. The criminals installed a backdoor, which experts believe would have been used to launch further attacks.

If you or your company is responsible for an IT system that involves something of value – data, access to a location or information, etc, – please make sure you follow the best advice of knowledgeable professionals.

From CNN

Hackers hold hotel’s keys hostage for bitcoin ransom

Since the beginning of the winter tourism season, the 4-star Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt in Austria has been hit with a series of cyberattacks.

In one attack, the hackers held all system — including the hotel’s reservation and cash desk system — hostage. The 180 guests (a full house) were locked out. The hotel said it had to pay 1,500 euros in bitcoin currency before the hackers would allow the guests back into their rooms.

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From theLocal.at

Hotel ransomed by hackers as guests locked out of rooms

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 into their hotel rooms and new key cards could not be programmed.

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From Forbes

Hackers Lock Down Hotel Rooms In A New Twist On Ransom Attacks

With a full house of 180 guests, management felt as though they didn’t have time to find an alternative solution. They paid the ransom, knowing that doing so put them in a precarious position. Once attackers know a victim will pay, why wouldn’t they circle back? That’s exactly what the criminals who breached the Seehotel Jaegerwirt had in mind. Investigators discovered that they had left a backdoor into the hotel’s systems, and they tried to exploit it almost immediately.

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