Hotel Attacks

27 February 2019, Hackers execute ransomware attack on hotel in Lucknow, India

The Times of India on 11 March reported that hackers attacked a hotel in Lucknow, India, with ransomware. Police say it is the first such attack on a hotel in the city’s history. At 11:45 pm on 27 February 2019, hackers breached the computer system of The Piccadily Lucknow, a five star hotel. Prateek Dubey, a cyber security specialist, said the hackers used a phishing tactic to gain access to the hotel’s computer system. Then they installed malware that encrypted the hotel’s computer data, which also blocked staff from accessing it. As hotel staff tried to figure out what was wrong, a ransom message popped up on their computer screen, which said, “Oops, your important files are encrypted.” Staff ignored the message and rebooted their computer system, which then crashed. Ideal News says the next day, unknown persons from London called the hotel four … Continue reading

Nine takeaways from the 15 January 2019 al Shabaab attack on the dusitD2 hotel and office complex

These takeaways come from Muir Analytics’ full report on the dusitD2 hotel and business compound attack posted here. First, the hotel was the focal point of the attack. The terrorists applied considerable violence against the hotel’s guests and staff. They inflicted enough damage to cause the hotel to close for four and a half months to repair and renovate, plus rebrand its food and beverage venues. The attackers had a considerable amount of weaponry cached in the hotel, and their hotel room was the site of their final stand. Second, tactically, the attack was effective. Al Shabaab had adequate intelligence on the target, and it sent enough fighters carrying the right weaponry to facilitate the temporary takeover of portions of the hotel and office complex and inflict high casualties. This is to be expected, however, from such a highly experienced and successful insurgent … Continue reading

28 February 2019, Raid with car bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia

Quick overview and short takeaways: Reuters and scores of other outlets are reporting on this ongoing attack: 1) Al Shabaab exploded a massive car bomb outside the Hotel Maka Al-Mukarama in Mogadishu the evening of 28 Feb 2019. Its fighters then occupied the building next door, and Somalian forces are fighting to dislodge them as of 1 Mar. 2) So far, casualties are estimated at 30 killed and 80 wounded. 3) Al Shabaab, an Islamist jihadist insurgent group, has increased operations as of late in light of military pressure applied by the US, Kenya, and other regional militaries. 4) Al Shabaab on 15 Jan raided the 5 star Dusit hotel and business complex in Nairobi, Kenya, killing 21 and wounding scores. 5) Al Shabaab specializes in hotel attacks, and hotel companies around the world should readily understand its tactics. 6) Muir Analytics’ SecureHotel … Continue reading

Executive Summary: Interim Analysis of the 15 January 2019 Al Shabaab Attack on the Dusit Hotel and Office Complex, Nairobi, Kenya

Below is an executive summary of the 15 January 2019 dusitD2 hotel and business complex attack sequence as of 15 February 2019. It comes from an extensively researched and sourced briefing by Muir Analytics’ SecureHotel Threat Portal team posted here. It is hotel-centric, and details on the violence that occurred in the office buildings are heavily redacted in order to focus on what happened at the dusitD2. Statements by the Kenyan government and the actions of the terrorists clearly indicate the hotel was the focal point of the attack. This briefing is based on open sources. A final report on the attack has not been issued by the Kenyan government. As a result, there are information gaps, and several issues need confirmation. As more data becomes available, Muir Analytics will update this brief. Muir’s SecureHotel Threat Portal team will also publish a set … Continue reading

Interim Analysis of the 15 January 2019 Al Shabaab Attack on the Dusit Hotel and Office Complex, Nairobi, Kenya

Note: This sequence of events is hotel-centric. Details on the office buildings that were attacked are redacted in order to focus on what happened at the dusitD2 hotel. This is not to minimize the tragedy and sacrifice of those who perished and showed valor at the businesses that came under attack. Statements by the Kenyan government and the actions of the terrorists clearly indicate the hotel was the focal point of the attack. The terrorists applied a great deal of violence against the hotel, its staff, and guests, and a hotel room is where the terrorists made their final stand. This briefing is based on open sources such as news articles, photographs, and video of the event. As the final report on the attack has not been issued by the Kenyan government or international agencies, there are multiple information gaps, and several issues … Continue reading

15 January 2019, Hotel and business complex attacked, Nairobi, Kenya

On 15 January 2019, al Shabaab fighters raided the hotel and office complex at 14 Riverside Drive in Nairobi, Kenya. The hotel in question is the dusitD2 nairobi (written in lower case), a 101-room, five-star hotel located at 14 Riverside Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya. It is owned by the Dusit Thani Group, a professional, decades old hospitality company, which is based in Bangkok, Thailand. The company has 29 properties, mainly in Asia, but it also has hotels in the Middle East and Africa. Here is a bullet point list of the bare facts of the attack to date: The raid began at 3:00 pm, said Daily Active Kenya. A car of as many as 5-6 al Shabaab fighters drove up to the roadside guard house at 14 Riverside Drive, fired at the guards, and penetrated the grounds, so said a witness who spoke to The Standard. They then made … Continue reading

7 November 2018, Sexual assaults endemic at Jamaican resorts, says US State Department and news reports; other Caribbean locales experience similar problems

An endemic problem On 7 November, the Chicago Tribune ran a disturbing story about rapes of tourists at Jamaican resorts, citing multiple case studies, interviews, and US State Department threat warnings. The Tribune’s story was, in part, based on the State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) report on Jamaica: Jamaica 2018 Crime and Safety Report. It says that 12 U.S. citizens were raped or sexually assaulted in 2017 alone. Half of these were done by hotel/resort employees. The Chicago Tribune cites other State Department statistics that say from 2011-17, 78 U.S. citizens were raped in Jamaica. Statistically, that’s nearly one a month for a six-year timeframe (13 a year). The Chicago Tribune also cautioned, “The U.S. government suspects this number [of rapes/sexual assaults] may be higher as sexual assaults are often underreported, and the embassy figures don’t include victims from other countries.” Some of these were gang rapes, … Continue reading

29 October 2018, Suicide bomber near hotel, Tunis, Tunisia

Eturbonewsreports that, at 1:50 pm on 29 October 2018, a female suicide bomber, most likely Tunisia’s first (Muir Analytics is conducting research to confirm), detonated her explosives on the pedestrian walkway on Habib Bourguiba Avenue between the Municipal Theater of Tunis and the El Hana International Tunis hotel. The hotel did not suffer damage. The apparent target of the bomber was a police checkpoint that was next to a police van. Brinkwire reported that Tunisian Interior Minister, Hichem Fourati, said the detonation injured 15 police officers and five civilians. (Muir Analytics conducted a photographic and video analysis to pinpoint the apparent seat of the blast. If additional data causes this to change, Muir Analytics will adjust its analysis. The Mirror has a photograph of the deceased bomber – pixilated to blur the woman’s wounds – lying directly in front of the El Hana hotel. … Continue reading

6-7 July 2018, Port Au Prince, Haiti

On 6-7 July 2018, CNN reported that hundreds of rioters in Port au Prince, Haiti, attacked at least two hotels, the Royal Oasis Hotel, and the Best Western Premier Petion-Ville, as they protested government price hikes of gasoline (38% rise), diesel (47% rise), and kerosene (51% rise). Haitians reportedly make an average of about $2.00 a day, so the price hike enraged part of the populace, and they acted out. Riots occurred in other Haitian cities after chaos in Port au Prince erupted. Eventually, the government rescinded these decrees, but not before heavy violence occurred. Rioters set up roadblocks around town, they rampaged through the streets throwing rocks and carrying clubs, and they set cars and tires on fire in the streets. At least one rioter on CNN’s video appeared to have been armed with a Winchester Defender type shotgun (pistol grip, no stock … Continue reading

5 November 2017, Chemical agent used on hotel guests, Fresnes (Paris,) France

On Thursday, 2 November at 8:20 pm, four men used a chemical agent to attack as many as 40 tourists (the French press said 80) from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) at the Kyriad Hotel in Fresnes, France, says the South China Morning Post. This was in the Val-de-Marne Department, immediately south of Paris, and just north of Orly Airport. In technical terms, this attack was a raid. As the tourists returned from a shopping trip, the assailants ran into a parking lot used by the hotel and physically assaulted the group’s tour guide. They then sprayed the tourists with tear gas and robbed them as they collapsed from the toxic fumes. The attackers absconded with as many as nine shopping bags filled with luxury goods. The affected tourists were “in a panic” for about an hour and recovered inside the hotel, according to … Continue reading