If you haven’t seen this story on Tecca or in Forbes, Tecca reporter Fox Van Allen writes:

Between jewelry, passports, laptops, and even tablets, a lot of us carry some very expensive things when we travel. And we expect the hotel we’re staying at to do all they reasonably can to keep us and our belongings safe. But according to a Forbes report, hotel doors with keycard entry offer virtually no security at all — they can be easily hacked with as little as $50 worth of equipment.

According to 24-year old security expert Cody Brocious, if your hotel room door’s keycard lock has a DC power port, it can be broken in to with inexpensive software and other hacking tools. And to prove it, Brocious has created a device capable of breaking into as many as 5,000,000 hotel rooms worldwide. The device works by spoofing the all-access cards used by hotel staff. According to Brocious, while every locked hotel room door requires its own access code to open, that access code is programmed into the door itself. The hacking tool can read the code, and then use it moments later to unlock the door.

Brocious was presenting his hacking tool (and, more broadly, hotel room security) at the Black Hat USA security conference on July 24.

 

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9 comments

Jayson July 27, 2012 - 2:23 pm

Exactly why I DO use the safes, provided they are key (and not the same door card) – boy do I miss the physical keys of yesteryear.

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Gene July 27, 2012 - 3:37 pm

Exactly why I avoid hotel rooms without safes.

Of course, the safes can be hacked into, too, right?

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Andy July 27, 2012 - 4:33 pm

@Gene: Many hotels never change the default master password for the safe!

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The Nomad July 27, 2012 - 4:51 pm

Exactly why I don’t travel with anything expensive 🙂

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Mike July 27, 2012 - 8:29 pm

Doors with keys are very easy as well. Takes 2-3 seconds

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FEV July 28, 2012 - 12:13 am

Good reminder … use the safe. And, leave valuables at home.

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Andre July 28, 2012 - 1:38 am

The safe in the room is not really all that secure. It has a little port on it to open it if you get locked out (has a little rubber cover). They just connect a handheld to it and it does its thing in a few seconds. One can assume it’s possible to get a device to unlock the safe the same way as this door card unlocking device.

All I mean is don’t get a false sense of security. The hotel’s safe downstairs is secure, not those little things in the room!

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Security Failure Lets Anyone Crack the Lock on Your Hotel Room - Hack My Trip August 22, 2012 - 10:09 am

[…] Point Me to the Plane mentioned the original story a couple weeks ago, and the exploit has since been refined to work on nearly every lock sold. But now Onity, which provides electronic locks for over four million hotel rooms around the world, has come up with a response that is underwhelming. They propose two fixes, as reported by Forbes: […]

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The First Hilton Hotel with Smartphone Keyless Check-In Will Be... - Point Me to the Plane - Point Me to the Plane August 10, 2014 - 1:26 pm

[…] Related – Access to Your Hotel Room for Only $50 – Use That Safe! […]

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