Monthly Archives: January 2017

31 January 2017, Predlitz-Turrach, Austria – hotel hacked, guests NOT trapped in their rooms, but security upgraded, nonetheless

On 28 January, The Local, an Austrian news source, reported that cybercriminals had recently hacked into the Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt in Turrach. The attackers damaged the hotel’s electronic key system and also shut down all the hotel’s computers, which included the front desk, point of sale, and reservations systems. Initial press reports saying that hotel guests were locked in or out of their rooms have been retracted by one of the original reporting sources, and Cristoph Brandstaetter, manager of the hotel, told Motherboard, “It was just a normal cyber attack and no guests were locked in.” Brandstaetter did say, however, that they were unable to make electronic room keys for new guests. Because of this last issue, there is continued reporting suggesting that scores of guests, and not just new guests, were locked out of their rooms. (Interviews with hotel guests who were … Continue reading

14 January 2017, hotel attacks in Gondar and Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Two hotel attacks in recent weeks are indicative of the increasing political violence happening in Ethiopia. It is a complex situation involving several ethnic and political issues that are spiraling out of control, making Ethiopia unstable. Civilians, both local and foreign, are in the crosshairs, as are hotels. The most recent hotel attack, says Geeska Afrika Online, happened on 10 January between 8:00-8:30 p.m. when terrorists threw a grenade into the Entasol Hotel in Gondar. Some reporting says the seat of the blast was the hotel bar, which was full of people watching a local soccer/football match on television. The explosion killed four and wounded as many as 30, reports Borkena. (Earlier reports said one killed and 19 wounded.) The U.S. Embassy suspended travel for its employees to Gondar as a result of the attack. The Entasol appears to be a roadside motel type establishment, touted … Continue reading