Hotel managers at the Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt were shocked when the customers started to complain that they couldn’t go in or out of their rooms. The hackers managed to take down the entire system, meaning new key cards could not be programmed as well.
The Austrian hotel is located in a beautiful lakeside setting on the Alpine Turracher Hoehe Pass, and the management said that it is not the first time they had been at the receiving end of an attack. They revealed that they had been attacked by cyber criminals on three other occasions, and urged the security agencies to do more and prevent these attacks.
Apparently, the attack was so massive that it shut down all hotel computers and blocked the reservation system and the cash desk system on the opening weekend of the festive winter season. The hackers demanded 1,500 EUR (1,272 GBP) in Bitcoin to be paid to them, after which they unlocked the key registry system and all other computers allowing the management to resume business as usual.
Managing Director Christoph Brandstaetter said:
“The house was totally booked with 180 guests, we had no other choice. Neither police nor insurance help you in this case. The restoration of our system after the first attack in summer has cost us several thousand Euros. We did not get any money from the insurance so far because none of those to blame could be found.”
The manager also said that although they know paying the hackers only hurts their own cause, but it was cheaper and faster for the hotel.
“Every euro that is paid to blackmailers hurts us. We know that other colleagues have been attacked, who have done similarly.”
The manager also claimed that the hackers left a back door open in the system to attack the system again, but their fourth attempt was thwarted as the computers had been replaced along with the installation of the latest security standards and network decoupling.
The Seehotel Jaegerwirt has 111 years of illustrious history, and now looking to revert to their roots to end this crisis once and for all,
“We are planning at the next room refurbishment for old-fashioned door locks with real keys. Just like 111 years ago at the time of our great-grandfathers.”