An Austrian 4-star Alpine resort has gone public with the news that cyberhackers had succeeded in seizing the hotel's electronic key system and reservation desk, locking guests into or out of their rooms.
The attack, which took place on the first weekend of the winter season, ended only when the hotel paid the raiders €1500 in Bitcoin, the 'cryptocurrency' that is favored by criminals because transactions are hard to trace.
The hotel, Seehotel Jaegerwirt, on a like in the Turracher Pass, said it has gone public with the news to warn others of the danger, and to urge more action against attacks. The hotel manager, Christoph Brandstaetter, said the hotel was forced to pay because there was no other way to regain control of its systems.
He also said that he is aware of other hotels that have been attacked, and that his hotel has been attacked more than once, although the last attack was foiled because the hotel replaced its systems and decoupled much of it from the internet. And, he said, "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."