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  1. #1
    OSO Content Provider Commercial Member SHARKEY-IMAGES's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001

    Exclamation WARNING !!! For those going to KEY WEST

    For those going to Key West or on any trip for that matter where you are staying in a Hotel that uses Card Access have a look at this !!!

    Swipe here to steal ID

    If Peter Wallace’s recent experience with hotel access cards is an indicator, leaving your electronic hotel room key behind when you check out could leave you open to identity theft.

    Wallace, IT director at AAA Reading-Berks in Wyomissing, Penn. has been bringing a card reader with him on business trips to see what's on the magnetic strips of his hotel room access cards. To his dismay, a surprising number have contained his name and credit card information - and in unencrypted form.

    What’s scary is how easy it is for even a novice to steal this information. He says he bought a $39 card reader at a local retail store and plugged it into his laptop's USB port. Now when he scans a card, the device inputs the data directly into an open Excel or Word document.

    I asked Wallace how often he finds his personal data on the cards. “Certain chains have that information [on their cards]. I’ve noticed it on three different chains,” he says. While he declined to name specific hotels, he says the most recent incident occurred in June at a resort. In that hotel the magnetic strip yielded his credit card information, street address and full name.

    Wallace adds that not all hotels are a problem. For example, a scan of a card at a Disney resort came up with a series of garbled numbers and letters. “It looks like just junk on the card. But it ties back that information to their computer systems,” he says.

    To be safe, the next time you check out of a hotel take your access card with you and shred it when you get home, Wallace advises. He admits to even having considered taking a shredder with him on some trips. “The thought has crossed my mind. I’m a paranoid S.O.B. because I know the tricks that are out there,” he says.


    This story was written 4 years ago but I had no idea that a hotel would have such information on an access key let alone unencrypted...

    I certainly will never leave those cards behind again.....

    Digital Photography & Video one BYTE at a time !

  2. #2
    Easily Distracted Platinum Member Racegirl3's Avatar
    My Boats:
    Boat Btch
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Bucyrus, Ohio

    Whoda thunk! Thanks for the heads up Tim
    Bad Girls Make Good Company

  3. #3
    Gold Member Gold Member CcanDo's Avatar
    My Boats:
    "Udderly Fantastic" Motion / 28 Skater 300x's / Bennington Tri-toon 350 Yam
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Thanks, Sherlock !!!

    I've had the "Bell Man" ask if I wanted him to turn in the card. My thought was, that's "special service", simultaneously, it didn't feel right. No, I have never accepted, but have had it happen more than once.

  4. #4
    VIP Member VIP Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Many years ago I stayed at the Pier House in KW and my friend met an old school friend that lived in KW. He told him our room number and that was it. The guy run up a $2000 tab on our room. I had all I could do to get out of that one. They couldn't produce any signatures so I couldn't be held liable. It was security problem of the hotel not my problem. We spent our last two nights looking for the guy, but no luck.

  5. #5
    FPC Events VIP Member jackie.fpc's Avatar
    My Boats:
    Florida Powerboat Club
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Pompano Beach, FL
    wow, I always throw mine in the garbage.
    Jackie Jones
    Florida Powerboat Club

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