Remember earlier this year we reported that thanks to a hacker, a security flaw was discovered in the keycard system used by hotels around the world? One would assume that after learning about this flaw that hotels around the world would rush to replace their keycard systems, or at the very least the company who provides said system, Onity, would replace them. While we can’t speak for other hotels, it seems that a rash of hotel break-ins in Houston have been attributed to a burglar who used the same hack to enter the rooms.
According to White Lodgings, a Hyatt franchisee, it seems that the management knew about the security flaw sometime back in August after reading an article on Forbes about the potential hack, but stated that Onity only started to implement a fix after the series of break-ins in September at the Houston Hyatt. In the meantime it seems that White Lodgings has implemented a temporary fix by plugging the security flaw with epoxy putty while they work with Onity on a more permanent fix.
Given that this is a problem on Onity’s end, one would have expected them to perform the replacements for free – after all car manufacturers do not ask customers to pay for any fixes or replacement work that needs to be done in the event of a recall, right? Unfortunately that’s what Onity is doing and it seems that they are asking their hotel customers to cover the cost of the replacements. Alternatively their free solution would be to block the port with a plastic plug and change the screws on the lock to something more obscure, which can hardly be called an elegant or long-term solution.