“Security researchers have built a master key that exploits a design flaw in a popular and widely used hotel electronic lock system, allowing unfettered access to every room in the building,” Zack Whittaker reports for ZDNet. “The electronic lock system, known as Vision by VingCard and built by Swedish lock manufacturer Assa Abloy, is used in more than 42,000 properties in 166 countries, amounting to millions of hotel rooms — as well as garages and storage units.”

“These electronic lock systems are commonplace in hotels, used by staff to provide granular controls over where a person can go in a hotel — such as their room — and even restricting the floor that the elevator stops at. And these keys can be wiped and reused when guests check-out,” Whittaker reports. “It turns out these key cards aren’t as secure as first thought.”

“Any key card will do. Even old and expired, or discarded keys retain enough residual data to be used in the attack. Using a handheld device running custom software, the researchers can steal data off of a key card — either using wireless radio-frequency identification (RFID) or the magnetic stripe,” Whittaker reports. “That device then manipulates the stolen key data, which identifies the hotel, to produce an access token with the highest level of privileges, effectively serving as a master key to every room in the building.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Makes us appreciate SPG app for Apple Watch and SPG Keyless even more!

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Apple Watch can now unlock hotel room doors at over 100 Starwood Hotels – April 24, 2015