We are living in a digital age where cyber-attacks and data breaches are on the rise. Ransomware attacks keep frightening us in most bizarre ways. And this time, hackers have found a unique way to drain your resources. Seems like they don’t wanna leave the limelight at all. Yes, not a laptop, not your coffee machine, this time it’s your hotel room! Stay calm and Don’t be alarmed. It’s actually true. Recently, one of Europe’s top luxury hotels admitted that they had to pay thousands in Bitcoin ransom to cybercriminals who managed to hack their electronic key system. Thousands of guests were locked in or out of their rooms when ransomware hit the hotel’s IT system, and the management was left with no choice except to pay the attackers.
The incident took place earlier this month and hit the computer managing the hotel’s electronic key lock system, reservation system, and the cash desk system, stated the local media. As a result, the electronic door locking system went down, new electronic room keys couldn’t be issued, and new arrivals couldn’t be confirmed as guests.
Once the hotel paid the ransom, the system was completely restored that allowed the hotel staff to gain access to the network and allowed hotel guests to enter and exit their rooms. But what makes this incident more interesting is the fact that hackers took a backdoor exit in an attempt to conduct another cyber-attack later.
The Inside Story!
You certainly won’t believe this but the hotel management even said that this was the third time when cybercriminals managed to take down the entire key system. Isn’t a surprisingly altruistic behavior that the hotel is displaying. Does it make any sense? Why didn’t the management take any preventive action if this hacking activity got so mundane in the books? Why didn’t this news scrambled all over the internet so that users get extra cautious before making a check-in at any such place? Social media fires up even a tinniest gesture, so how come this never highlighted?
Well, a bunch of questions are popping on our minds. But there’s definitely more than meets the eye.
Another Soft Target: Hospitals
Images Source: nbcnews.com
2016 was a typical unfortunate year if we talk in terms of ransomware. Our homes, workplace, hotels and now even hospitals were ‘digitally vandalized’! Cybercriminals are not even sparing our ‘Safe Zones’. Last year, hackers attacked a computer system at MedStar Health, forcing thousands of employees to resort to paper medical records and transactions. Some even say that this incident was purely based on a Hollywood movie’s storyline where hackers held Presbyterian Medical Center’s data to demand a ransom of $3.4 million in Bitcoin to give it back.
If Hollywood keeps inspiring the hackers like this, we should be prepared to see more hostage cases like this. Let’s hope not! *Fingers crossed*
To Pay or Not to Pay
The frequent payment to Ransomware encourages criminals to stash the cash and develop a more enticing plan for their next target. So, instead of paying or encouraging their dirty schemes, we should focus on keeping our software and systems updated and avoid clicking on suspicious links.
Here’s hoping that we get better prepared for 2017. You may want to stock up on some Bitcoins, just in case 😉