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Flaw in Hotel Keycard Locks Opens the Door to Robberies

Those automatic keycard readers that are now ubiquitous make life easier for guests and hotel staff alike, but now it turns out that they might be making it easier for thieves as well.

The Daily Mail reports that a computer programmer, Matthew Jakubowski, built a $50 device that looks like an ordinary pen, which can be used to disable any hotel door lock made by Onity. Jakubowski, a developer for Mozilla, made his findings public to draw attention to the security flaw.

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The Onity locks are on an estimated 4 million hotel rooms worldwide, and the fix that the company came up with to solve the problem is expensive, meaning that many hotel chains have not revamped their locks, and that rooms are still vulnerable. This was proved after police in Texas arrested Matthew Allen Cook for allegedly breaking into three rooms at the Hyatt House Galleria—most likely by taking advantage of the flawed Onity locks.

Are you concerned about break-ins when you stay in a hotel? Tell us why or why not in the comments.

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