‘Master Key’ Hack Unlocks Millions of Hotel Rooms

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Security researchers create a master key card, which uses the design in the electronic lock system at most of hotels, allowing card holders enter each room at hotel. These electronic lock systems in hotel are normal, it turns out these key cards are not as secure as the thought in the first time.

The electronic lock system called Vision by Ving Card is made by Assa Abloy, a lock manufacturer in Swedish. The locks of Assa Abloy are used in more than 42,000 properties in 166 countries. The number of hotel room reaches several millions, as well as storage units and garages.

This project is executed by Timo Hirvonen and Tomi Tuominen of F-Secure, they said that they can create a master key card basically out of thin air.

Any key card is available. Even the overdue, old or lost key card can store enough rest data that can be attacked. Researchers can steal the data from the room key by using hand-hold device operated customized software and the magnetic stripe or radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. Then, the device operates the stolen data of marked hotel to generate the access wand with the right of highest level that can open every room door in hotel.

They said: “We built a RFID demo environment in 2015 and were able to create our first master key card for a real hotel in March 2017. If somebody was to do this full time, it would probably take considerably less time.

However, this kind of hotel key card hack doesn’t happen in any hotel, Assa Abloy is developing security patch to make up defect to solve the issue.

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