5 min read

How The “Hotel Hacker” Used A Homemade $50 Gadget To Hack Into High End Hotel Rooms!

How The “Hotel Hacker” Used A Homemade $50 Gadget To Hack Into High End Hotel Rooms!

Imagine checking into a hotel, only to discover that a simple $50 device can effortlessly breach the security of your room. 

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the plot of a low budget Hollywood slasher flick, but the chilling reality for a chain of hotels a few years ago. A widespread flaw in hotel keycard locks was discovered (and exploited), exposing countless guests to risk of break ins.

DALL·E 2024-05-23 12.23.43 - An illustration for an article about information security, set in a brightly lit hotel hallway. The scene shows an ominous hacker in a hoodie, activel

Several years ago, a security researcher uncovered a significant vulnerability in hotel keycard locks. Using a homemade gadget costing less than $50, he demonstrated how easily these locks could be bypassed. 

The flaw, found in millions of Onity keycard locks, allowed hackers to create a master key and gain unauthorised access to hotel rooms. This discovery triggered a series of hotel room break-ins, raising serious concerns about the safety and privacy of hotel guests.

Despite the alarming nature of these breaches, many hotels were slow to address the issue. The lack of immediate action left countless guests vulnerable and highlighted the importance of proactive security measures. 

As the world becomes increasingly digital, vulnerabilities like these extend beyond physical locks to the cyber realm. Businesses, too, are at risk from unseen threats that can compromise their security and operations.

The “Hotel Hacker” story highlights the risks and complexities of cyber threats that are growing exponentially every day. For businesses, safeguarding sensitive information and maintaining robust IT infrastructure should be paramount. 

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) offer comprehensive protection, ensuring that both physical and digital assets are safeguarded. 

That’s why every business needs to outsource their IT security and maintenance to a Managed Service Provider (MSP). MSPs are exponentially more well equipped to ensure the cyber resilience of your business than just an in-house team alone. 

Here’s just a few reasons why:

  1. Expertise and Specialization: MSPs are equipped with a team of experts who specialize in the latest cybersecurity trends and technologies. They provide comprehensive protection against evolving threats that in-house teams might not be prepared to handle.
  2. Cost-Effective Solutions: Building and maintaining an in-house IT department can be expensive. MSPs offer scalable solutions, allowing businesses to pay for the services they need without the overhead costs associated with full-time staff and equipment.
  3. Proactive Security Measures: MSPs use advanced monitoring tools to detect and mitigate threats before they can cause significant damage. This proactive approach minimises downtime and protects business continuity.
  4. Regulatory Compliance: Navigating the complexities of regulatory requirements can be challenging. MSPs ensure that businesses comply with industry standards and regulations, avoiding costly fines and legal issues.
  5. Focus on Core Business: By outsourcing IT security, businesses can focus on their core operations without being distracted by technical issues. This enhances productivity and allows for better resource allocation.
  6. 24/7 Support: Cyber threats don’t adhere to business hours. MSPs provide round-the-clock support, ensuring that any issues are addressed promptly, reducing the risk of prolonged disruptions.
  7. Data Protection and Recovery: MSPs implement robust backup and disaster recovery plans to safeguard data against loss or corruption. In the event of a breach, they can quickly restore operations, minimising impact.
  8. Reputation Management: A security breach can severely damage a business’s reputation. MSPs help prevent breaches, thereby protecting customer trust and maintaining a positive brand image.

In a digital age where cyber threats are ever-present, partnering with an MSP is not just a strategic advantage but a necessity. By ensuring that IT security and maintenance are handled by professionals, businesses can stay on the cutting edge and focus on growth and innovation.

A Safe Haven for Growth: Protecting a Client's Business

One of our clients, a mid-sized company, faced an increasing number of cyber threats that threatened to compromise customer data and disrupt operations. Their in-house IT team struggled to keep up with the growing complexity of these threats, which could have led to several security breaches and costly downtimes.

Recognizing the need for expert assistance, they partnered with us to become their trusted MSP. We immediately conducted a thorough security assessment, identifying vulnerabilities and implementing advanced protective measures. 

Our 24/7 monitoring services ensured that any suspicious activity was detected and mitigated promptly.

Within months, the company saw a significant reduction in potential security incidents.

Our proactive approach not only prevented potential breaches but also optimised their IT infrastructure, resulting in improved system performance and reliability. The company could now focus on expanding its business, confident that its data and operations were secure.

Additionally, we provided regular training sessions for their staff, enhancing their ability to recognize and respond to potential threats. This holistic approach not only fortified their defences but also fostered a culture of security awareness within the organisation.

Our partnership empowered this client to grow without fear, knowing they had a robust security framework and expert support to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.

Practical Tips for Enhancing Your Business’s Cybersecurity

  1. Conduct Regular Security Audits
  • Periodically review and update your security protocols.
  • Identify vulnerabilities and address them promptly.
  1. Implement Strong Access Controls
  • Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all accounts.
  • Restrict access to sensitive data based on role and necessity.
  1. Employee Training and Awareness
  • Educate staff on recognizing phishing attempts and other cyber threats.
  • Conduct regular cybersecurity training sessions.
  1. Keep Software and Systems Updated
  • Regularly update all software to patch security vulnerabilities.
  • Ensure all systems are running the latest versions of operating systems and applications.
  1. Backup Data Regularly
  • Implement a robust backup strategy to ensure data can be restored in case of an attack.
  • Store backups in a secure, offsite location.
  1. Develop an Incident Response Plan
  • Create a clear plan for responding to security breaches.
  • Ensure all employees are aware of their roles in the event of an incident.
  1. Partner with an MSP
  • Collaborate with a Managed Service Provider for expert guidance and comprehensive protection.
  • Benefit from 24/7 monitoring and advanced security solutions.

By following these practical tips, businesses can significantly enhance their cybersecurity posture and protect their valuable assets.

Embrace Proactive Cybersecurity for Peace of Mind

In today's digital landscape, cyber threats are a persistent and evolving danger. The story of a $50 hack exposing hotel vulnerabilities serves as a stark reminder of the importance of robust security measures.

For businesses, the stakes are even higher, with customer trust and reputations on the line.

By partnering with a Managed Service Provider (MSP), businesses can safeguard their operations with expert knowledge, proactive monitoring, and cutting-edge solutions. 

MSPs not only prevent breaches but also empower businesses to thrive without fear of cyber attacks.

Don’t wait for a security breach to realise the importance of cybersecurity. 

Take action now to protect your business, your customers, and your future. Partner with an MSP and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your digital fortress is secure and resilient.

Ready to bolster your business's security? 

Let's make it happen together.


Grade your organizational risk with our comprehensive cybersecurity quiz.
🎯 Grade Your Organizational Risk: CLICK HERE


Our quiz is more than just a set of questions; it's a window into your organization's cybersecurity posture. By participating, you're not just testing your knowledge; you're evaluating your organization's readiness against cyber threats.

  • Easy to Understand: No technical jargon, just clear, actionable insights.
  • Quick and Efficient: It won't take much of your time, but the insights you gain could save your organization.
  • Empower Your Decision Making: With the knowledge you gain, make informed decisions to enhance your cybersecurity strategy.

As your trusted MSP, we're committed to helping you navigate the complex world of cybersecurity. This quiz is the first step in a journey towards a more secure digital environment for your business.

  • Assess Your Risk: Discover how secure your organization truly is.
  • Tailored Insights: Receive personalized feedback based on your responses.
  • Stay Ahead: Learn about potential vulnerabilities before they become issues.

Take the Quiz Now and pave the way for a safer digital future for your organization. Remember, in the realm of cybersecurity, knowledge is not just power – it's protection.

👉 Don't Wait for a Breach to Realize the Importance of Cybersecurity.


Hackers Targeted Them, Now They're Untouchable: How Outsourcing to an MSP Reinforces Cybersecurity Defences

Hackers Targeted Them, Now They're Untouchable: How Outsourcing to an MSP Reinforces Cybersecurity Defences

In the high-stakes game of digital security, the tables have turned for companies once within the crosshairs of sophisticated hackers. The past...

Read More
9 Steps to Recovering Hacked Accounts (The Essential Guide)

9 Steps to Recovering Hacked Accounts (The Essential Guide)

Having one's online accounts hacked is not only common but can lead to significant personal and financial distress. The immediate aftermath of...

Read More
New Microsoft Edge features, ethical hackers and West Ham FC data leak

New Microsoft Edge features, ethical hackers and West Ham FC data leak

How secure are your suppliers? New Microsoft Edge features, ethical hackers and West Ham FC data leak... here are the IT and cyber headlines that...

Read More