A few months ago insurance firm Petra Pacific issued an alert about how "several" Texas hotels - that's more than one, and according to this article at least three - had rooms with electronic locks that were broken into. At around the same time an IT service consultant from Dell had her laptop stolen from a locked room at a Houston Hyatt. The burglars got into her room by exploiting a vulnerability that was unveiled at the summer 2012 Black Hat security conferencewhich is when HotelChatter picked it upand that effects about four million electronic locks made by the lock company Onity
Forbes just published a long-ish story on the Hyatt robbery. The device that hackers use to crack the locks costs about $50 to build, and there have been videos on YouTube for months showing people how to make one. But Hyatt hadn't fixed the problem, and when they tried to tackle it after the burglary all they did was put put glue into a small hole that makes the locks vulnerable.
Since the actual problem is with the locks' circuit boards, a lot of people don't think what Hyatt did actually counts as a solution. And yet it's still ahead of many other hotels that haven't even done that much.
We're not going to post any of the 5 minute DIY videos on YouTube showing how to make the device that cracks the lock. Instead here's a news report from the Black Hat conference where the technique was unveiled. Several, several months ago.
[Photo: SCMagazineUS / YouTube]