A luxury hotel in Austria recently had to pay hackers a ransom after they managed to access its electronic key system and lock all the hotel guests in their rooms.
The cyber lock-in happened on the first day of the winter season at the Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt, a 111-year-old, four-star luxury hotel that has a pool, lake views, and a state-of-the-art electronic key system that turned out to be something hackers could exploit, according to The Local.
When the hackers accessed the hotel’s IT system and shut everything down, approximately 180 people were staying at the hotel on that day. Many were locked in their rooms, while others were locked out of theirs.
The hackers demanded €1,500, about $1,600, paid via Bitcoin. The hotel decided to pay.
"We had no other choice,” said managing director Christoph Brandstaetter. “Neither police nor insurance help you in this case.”
After the hackers were paid, the system went back online. Brandstaetter said the hotel planned to downgrade back to old-fashioned keys.