Hotel security under question as hacker says electronic locks can be opened

A report in yesterday’s US press will have sent shivers down the spine of many a hotel manager and security specialist at properties across the globe.

The piece, published ahead of today’s Black Hat security conference, spotlights Cody Brocious, a software developer with Mozilla, who says he can open hotel doors with Onity systems with a simple open-source device.

Okay, so what, a hacker can open a few doors with a device which cost less than $50 to develop.

However, this guy is not just any hacker if his Wikipedia profile is to be believed and has worked on projects to reverse engineer iPhone.

Also, although the device is hit and miss according to the Forbes piece, we’re not talking about a few doors, Onity’s website says its technology is installed in more than 22,000 hotels across the globe and more than 200 chains rely on it for electronic hotel solutions.

The company says it’s aware of the Forbes article, can’t comment ahead of the presentation but is prepared to address any issues posed by it.

Global marketing manager Suzanne Fritz says:

“We also don’t know whether the article published by Forbes fully and accurately describes the upcoming presentation.

We will review and analyze Mr. Brocious’ presentation and any other information that he publishes on this subject. Onity places the highest priority on the safety and security provided by its products and works everyday to develop and supply the latest security technologies to the marketplace.”

In a further twist to the tale, which is likely to unravel in the coming days, it seems Brocious is not the only one armed with the door opening knowledge as the intellectual property for the technology were sold to the Lockmasters Security Institute last year.

NB: Padlock image courtesy of Shutterstock

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About the Writer :: Linda Fox

Linda Fox is managing editor for Tnooz. For the past decade years she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine.

In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management and research companies.

Prior to her freelance career she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.

 

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