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Onity rolling out safeguards against hotel keycard hacks, may fix some locks outright

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 7, 2012
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Mozilla staffer Cody Brocious' discovery of a quick (if imperfect) hack for hotel door locks raised alarms at the prospect that thieves could slip into rooms moments after plugging in a rogue device. The keycard system's creator, Onity, suggested in August that any solutions beyond capping the data port would cost a fee, and there wasn't a definite roadmap in place. The firm has more lately been looking to make things right. Officially, it's planning to give every affected hotel the caps over the "next several weeks," free as promised. Forbes understands that Onity may be going the extra mile, however. Reportedly leaked memos from Hyatt, the InterContinental Hotels Group and Marriott have the lock firm charging $11 per door to ship boards with hack-resistant firmware, but refunding that price as soon as it receives old boards, effectively offering a permanent fix for free. Some hotels outside of North America may not have to take even that last step. The only gotcha is a supposed requirement that hotels agree locks aren't hack-proof -- in short, please don't sue us. We've reached out for confirmation of this more extensive solution, but any truth to it would put the threat of keycard system hacks on ice for at least awhile.

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