Hackers can create a master key to unlock millions of hotel rooms

Finnish researchers have found that hackers need just one key card to create a master key that can grant access to an entire hotel, building, or facility.


NSFW    HELSINKI — Finnish security researchers have found a way to gain access to entire buildings and hotel chains — all it takes is one keycard.

According to a press release from data security firm F-Secure, two of the company's consultants discovered a software vulnerability in Vision by VingCard electronic lock systems, which is used in millions of hotel rooms worldwide.

The pair wanted to find out if it's possible to open an electronically locked room without leaving a trace, and developed their own software to hack into the keycards.

They found that information from a single keycard, even an expired and discarded one, can be scanned and copied using a small device.

With custom software, it takes only a minute to decode the card and generate a master key, which can bypass any lock, allowing unrestricted access to any hotel or facility.

The two consultants have since worked with lock manufacturer Assa Abloy to fix the software flaw with an update, which was made available to hotels last February.
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