Report: Hotel door locks are vulnerable to hack

Beware during your next trip to a hotel.

A European security group reports that millions of electronic door locks worldwide are vulnerable to a hack. KIRO 7 found out what's being done to prevent this from happening at local hotels.

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Imagine a hacker walking down a hallway and finding a way to enter your hotel room.

"It kind of freaks me out now that I'm thinking about it," said Stuart Simkins, who works at Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Researchers at F-Secure in Finland say flaws found in the equipment's software means hackers can create "master keys" that open rooms without leaving an activity log.

Hackers are able to duplicate a key you may leave on a table or bar – and then use that coding to open up any hotel room.

"This is the first time I'm hearing about that master key," said Ira Ermita, who is visiting from Calgary.

According to the security company, millions of electronic door locks fitted to hotel rooms across the globe have been found to be vulnerable to a hack.

"Who would do such a thing?" asked Florence Boyd, who is visiting from Camden, New Jersey.

Jim Fuda, who has worked extensively in special operations, told KIRO 7 the types of hackers who could be doing this.

"There could be somebody staying at the hotel at a convention -- and in there hacking into the system -- and [could] have other people breaking into other rooms while they're in the convention," Fuda said.

The Washington Hospitality Association, which represents 6,500 hotels in Washington state, said safety and security is their top priority.
They released this statement, saying in part: "Washington hotels regularly review their safety procedures to ensure that they remain safe places for our communities to make treasured memories."

If the problem of hackers breaking into hotel rooms does become a growing problem, one tourist has a solution of how to fix it:

"Go back old school to the original keys."

KIRO 7 spoke with the Seattle Police Department on Wednesday, and they said they are not aware of any cases like this in Seattle.