Infrared bandits stealing service at Hotels

By Justin Mann on August 2, 2005, 5:00 PM
If you have been to a modern Hotel recently, you probably remember the "feature-rich" televisions that are typically in the rooms. Usually you can do things like order movies or games, get news or surf the Internet, view your bill or even order room service using the remote. Like most systems of this nature, that is merely a frontend to the Hotels service network. You'd think that the information is at least somewhat secure. Only you and the Hotel staff behind those counters are supposed to be able to view your bill. Not true, unfortunately.

"As far as the hotel is concerned, you're the only person who can see (your bill). But they're sending your confidential data over the air through a broadcast system. It's the equivalent of running an open wireless access point. If I tune my TV to your channel, then I get to see what you're doing,"
The interview with Wired magazine goes into some details on how a clever person can get services for free and even tamper will your bill. The subject of the interview apparently discovered this flaw when he was, quote, "mucking about with hotel TVs to get the porn channel without paying for it." Nice.

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.