The burglary occurred in a Houston Hyatt Hotel in September. The burglar inserted a tool into the DC plug on the underside of the lock. This allowed the burglar to read the lock’s memory and open the lock. This vulnerability is found only on one model of Onity locks, according to press reports. Onity is working to fix this vulnerability. (CNET report: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57554598-83/known-keycard-hack-suspected-in-hotel-room-burglary/)
This incident points out that even the most conscientious and sophisticated hotel security programs can be circumvented. Some things that you can do to protect yourself include:
- Leave valuables in the room safe or the hotel safe
- When you leave your room, hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the outside of the door. Also, leave some lights on, and the TV or radio on.
- Check the door lock to be sure that it is working properly.
- If you see someone who seems to be loitering around your room, don’t go into your room. Report the loiterer immediately to the front desk!