Another institution affected by a ransomware attack saw no other option than meeting the criminals’ demand for Bitcoin. The Romantik Seehotel Jägerwirt, located in Austria and one of Europe’s top hotels, paid thousands of dollars in Bitcoin to get rid of this malicious software. As a result of this breach, the hotel’s electronic key system was under control of the criminals. Hotel guests could not get in or out of their rooms until the Bitcoin ransom was paid.
A Bad Day For A Top European Hotel
Cybercriminals have proven to be quite creative when it comes to distributing malicious software. The owners and staff of the Austrian Romantik Seehotel Jägerwirt experienced that first hand, as a ransomware attack shut down their entire system. Moreover, hotel guests could not get in or out of their rooms with their electronic key cards, as that system was inaccessible as well.
It is not the first time this hotel has been affected by a cyber attack either. This incident marks the third major breach in the hotel’s history, indicating they are still prone to getting attacked. With the right cyber security defenses in place, ransomware attacks should have no chance of succeeding in the first place. Unfortunately, this type of malware got through and caused quite a lot of havoc.
In exchange for the vast sum of 1,500 EUR – paid in Bitcoin – the criminals would let go of the system and restore day-to-day hotel activity. Considering this infection took place during the opening weekend of the winter season, there was little else the hotel staff could do. Leaving 80 guests without access to their room and facilities was not an option to consider.
This story highlights another problem for victims of ransomware attacks. Insurance companies are not reimbursing any of the damages lost, as it does not fall within their “coverage”. The Austrian hotel suffered a major attack in the Summer of 2016, which cost them thousands of euros to recover from. The insurance company did not help them out in this regard, as they were “unable to determine the cause of the attack”.
For the time being, the hotel is considering other measures to keep hackers out of their electronic card system. In fact, the owners are looking into getting rid of their electronic system altogether, and resort to traditional locks with physical keys instead. Considering how the hotel has been around for 111 years, going back to the way things used to be may not be such a bad idea after all.
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock