Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

April 23, 2017

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A new kind of hotel virus

How an accommodation in Vienna was attacked

When was the last time you got an actual, old-school key to access your hotel room? A four-star hotel in Austria is scrapping electronic room cards, and reverting back to traditional locks and keys after their computer system was recently hacked by ransomware at the beginning of their busy ski season. New room cards for guests checking at the Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt couldn’t be issued for about 24 hours until €1500 in Bitcoins was paid to the thieves. Other guests couldn’t re-enter their rooms if they left. What’s more, this was the fourth time the Austrian hotel in the Alps was hacked; they finally went public with the news to warn other accommodations. This past summer, several hotel operators in the US admitted that their point-of-sale terminals had compromised by malware; it exposed customer names, payment card numbers, expiration dates and verification codes.

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