Austrian hotel pays ransomware demand to unlock guests’ rooms (Fake news?)

Update: I think we need to forget about this story’s claim of guests being locked in rooms, etc. This now appears to be fake news based on a report from a site that is not a reputable news site.  I’m not sure about another site that carried the story of ransomware but without the bit about guests being locked in their rooms. Catalin Cimpanu also calls b.s. on the locked in rooms claim. So for now, it seems that there was a ransomware attack, but guests were not locked in their rooms.

Original post:

Oh my. This is a somewhat different application of ransomware. I hope it doesn’t catch on.

The Local reports this incident in Austria:

One of Europe’s top hotels has admitted they had to pay thousands in Bitcoin ransom to cybercriminals who managed to hack their electronic key system, locking hundreds of guests in or out of their rooms until the money was paid.

Furious hotel managers at the Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt, a luxurious 4-star hotel with a beautiful lakeside setting on the Alpine Turracher Hoehe Pass in Austria, said they decided to go public with what happened to warn others of the dangers of cybercrime.


The attack, which coincided with the opening weekend of the winter season, was allegedly so massive that it even shut down all hotel computers, including the reservation system and the cash desk system.

The hackers promised to restore the system quickly if just 1,500 EUR (1,272 GBP) in Bitcoin was paid to them.

Managing Director Christoph Brandstaetter said: “The house was totally booked with 180 guests, we had no other choice. Neither police nor insurance help you in this case.

Read more on The Local.

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3 comments to “Austrian hotel pays ransomware demand to unlock guests’ rooms (Fake news?)”

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  1. Steve - January 28, 2017

    Not so sure about this.
    Locked IN the room? (should be a clue, Austria has no fire codes?)

    CEN (Central European News) appears to be the source
    see the by line at the end of the story.
    “By Koen Berghuis / Story courtesy of Central European News”

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