Long gone are the days when the Y2K bug was the scariest thing to potentially destroy our lives. We now live in a world where something as simple as electronic hotel keys aren't safe from the dangers of internet hackers.
The Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt in Austria was the latest victim of a new type of a clever, albeit horribly stupid and illegal software called "ransomware." According to the New York Times, the 111 year-old resort was locked out of its own computer system, causing many of its 180 guests to be stranded, sipping cocoa and hot toddies in its luxurious lakeside lobby (we feel so bad!). To pour more salt in the wound, hackers demanded a ransom of two Bitcoins (around $1800) with the threat to double the amount by end of day.
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The rise in ransomware has proven a serious issue for small business owners who rely on the internet for day-to-day operations. With the hotel at capacity and the risk of losing profit, managing director Christoph Brandstaetter eventually caved in to the hackers' demands to restore service and get his perplexed (and assumedly drunk and weary) guests back into their rooms.
Needless to say, this won't be the last time we hear about the growing industry of ransomware and its impact on cyber security. And one can only imagine what will happen if the hackers' next target is one of President Trump's many hotel properties. WWIII, anyone?