Security Flaws In Keycard Locks & Hotel Room Break-Ins

Are you familiar with the story of Janet Wolf's hotel room that has been very discreetly robbed by a skilled property criminal? As soon as Janet came back to the hotel she was staying at, she discovered that her laptop had been stolen. The fact that there were no signs of forced entry visible on the door, and also no signs of the lock having been picked led to suspicions concerning the housekeepers. But they were rapidly ruled out, as the hotel management relies on a device to read the keycard locks' memory. It was therefore soon discovered that none of the keys held by the maids had been used while Janet was away from her room.

So what happened? Who stole her laptop? And what can hotels do to prevent losing their customers because of break-ins and robberies that are anything but good publicity?

Hotels Need To Get Proactive When It Comes To Safety

The hotel where the unexplained robbery took place struggled to give its guests an extra sense of security by posting a guard in the lobby. Unfortunately, this didn't do much for the already frightened guest whose laptop had been previously stolen. She was scared that the thief could re-enter her room at any given moment. She continued to have nightmares about it for several nights, waking up and imagining there was someone standing at her desk.

A couple of days after the break-in took place, she received an official letter from the hotel telling her that the lock of the room had not been picked, and had been opened with a key. Instead, it had been hacked with a digital tool that can apparently trigger the opening mechanism within just a few seconds and with zero effort. Jane wasn't the only one to fall victim to this clever intrusion technique. In fact, the same technique could open hundreds of thousands or millions of locks in hotels around the world. The Houston police arrested Matthew Allen Cook, charging him with theft in a break-in at the same hotel where Janet's laptop had been stolen. The suspect had a prior history of arrests for thefts and burglary. While the police refused to share information on the method Cook had used to enter the hotel rooms, it is believed that he had used a device that takes advantage of a security glitch or vulnerability in keycard locks built by a certain lock company. The respective lock is currently found in at least four million hotel rooms across the globe.

Needless to say hotel managers need to get in touch with professional locksmiths that handle commercial services. The emergency locksmith services at for example make for a good solution. These licensed and insured technicians offer 24-hour support with emergency lockouts, as well as the entire range of commercial locksmithing services including lock re-key, lock repair, fresh lock installation, duplicate key cutting, jammed lock issues and anything in between. They also charge small flat rates and they can cater to the needs of hotel managers in all U.S. states, cities, towns, and even remote areas. An experienced locksmith with hands-on experience working with keycard and electronic locks should be able to recommend the most suitable solutions for hotel managers' custom needs.

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