Kitzbuehel, Austria – Visiting the Austrian ski resort of Kitzbuehel is all about spending time in the great outdoors, but guests staying at the four-star Hotel Jägerwirt over the weekend got to spend a little more time outside their rooms than they expected.
Hackers broke into the hotel’s computer system and used the electronic key entry system to prevent the issuance of new key cards. The cybercriminals agreed to unlock the doors in exchange for a €1,500 (roughly US$1,600) ransom payment via Bitcoin.
The hack also took down the hotel’s reservation and check-in systems. Panicked, and with a full house of 180 guests, hotel management decided it was easier to simply pay the ransom, and order was restored.
The hackers left a backdoor in place to repeat the feat; however, hotel management quickly replaced the affected computers.
Despite a €10,000 investment in a high-tech security system, this was the third time the Hotel Jägerwirt’s computer system has been hacked. The last occurrence took place just this past summer, and ironically, restoring the hotel’s computer systems after that earlier attack cost more than the ransom paid last weekend. Media reports indicate that three other hotels in the Tyrol region have been similarly attacked this season.
Meanwhile, the Hotel Jägerwirt has decided to resort to old-school key locks and paper reservation logs.