Sunday, July 25, 2010

Carefully key in secret

United States, "Computerworld" survey of 100 hotel card keys and found: Some hotel card key may be recorded as a guest of the data. Magnetic card key store personal information about the city myth once again cause for concern.

Fact or fiction?

U.S. Hotel Industry Association (AHLA) President Joe McInerney, said: "This is a legend, is not the case." Although he admitted almost every six months, the total availability of the reports did appear under.

The fall of 2005, Pennsylvania, a travel club's IT manager, told the "Computerworld" said his visit to three hotels in the chain, the hotel card key in the discovery of personal information. The IT professional said he was an ordinary ISO standard magnetic card reader read the card. A vacation to the magnetic card keys to record his credit card information, address and name. When he told the hotel this result, the hotel that surprised. His comments appear in the blog last September, causing a stir.

As the "Computerworld" part of the investigation, travel journalists and staff bring back a time span of six weeks of the 52 magnetic card key. The card from the various hotels and retreat, from Motel 6 to Hyatt Regency and Disney World. We use a card reader MagTek Inc. ISO standard (anyone can buy online reader) scan of the card.

Most magnetic card reader using the market simply could not be read. Either Benson or "Computerworld" no personally identifiable information found in the above. Accordingly, we believe that U.S. hotel guests can find the card key on any personal information. However, there are a number of industry experts on whether the old system can be configured to be stored in a given scenario a dispute arose concerning personal information.

To understand why the personal information can not appear in the hotel card key, you must first get to know the technology works. The use of electronic magnetic card lock is used to solve petty problems. AHLA Technical Committee Chairman Brian Garavuso said: "These problems almost disappeared." Most of the key only to record the room number, departure date and the "page" (folio) - the guest account code - although other data may be stored in the magnetic card on.

Lock a lock code sequence recorded. When the maturity of the card or insert a new card by brush, this series will move forward. Lock also records the guests, waiters or other hotel employee entered the room of time. Hotel door lock system is not connected with the front line. If the card is lost, given the new cards, the new card into the lock, the reset before the lock, the room is not to protect the state. Hotel card key locks are used because they are relatively cheap, heavy with keys is easy, including time limits and provide access to the room of the audit records.

Electronic lock systems use proprietary encoders and readers, most of the magnetic card keys unreadable. Card manufacturers Plasticard-Locktech Inc. (PLI) Chief Operating Officer Mark Goldberg said that, although ISO standard magnetic tape 3 in the magnetic track to save data, but the hotel door lock systems use proprietary encryption coding mode and the third track on the magnetic The room key data.

Only 15% of the measured magnetic card use USB card reader can read all the data. Read any number of strings of letters do not match the user's credit card number, also did not find any intelligible language. MagTek's Benson can extract the binary data from the card series, but can not decode it. He said, "need a special decoder card reader station." Electronic lock manufacturer Saflok company's new product manager Mike Scott said that even if one can buy, the data is unreadable, because they are encrypted.

Access to key information?

Most electronic lock system includes a tape encoders, user workstation and server software. System is mainly involved in property management system (PMS). PMS software processing reservations, registration and customer billing and other content, communication and electronic locking systems to generate a new magnetic card key, the billing data is sent to the back-end systems.

Point of sale system can also be connected to the PMS, so that the magnetic key on the customer account code can be used to record the room bill the cost of food or other items. In this case, the account code stored in the magnetic card magnetic track on the second. Card can be connected to the back-end accounting system, billing system, maintains the guests name, address and credit card information, so customers will like the card is a credit card as food or charge this card in the watery liquor.

Credit card data may be directly embedded in the card in it? Garavuso said: "This is generally not possible." Individual ownership of the hotel chain is often licensed to other owners, these owners may be outsourced to third-party hotel management - and may use a variety of back-end systems. But Garavuso said that although the back-end systems may be different, but all of the hotel chain companies require franchisees to use their property management system.

In some tourist areas or hotels, bars, restaurants or other premises used in the rental system may not save the customer billing data with PMS 杩炴帴. In this case, the hotel may choose to encode credit card data directly to the hotel key card, credit for consumption, rather than find their own Xiugai the trouble of the two systems. Such arrangements may IT managers who explained to the "Computerworld" reporting experience.

However, this possible? Columbia City, Maryland, Micros Systems PMS vendor marketing director Louise Casamento admitted: "If the old system, it is possible." She said in the past, people did not like this sense of safety, and ISO card reader when not online so easy to obtain. However, Saflok's Scott said such a thing is impossible. He said: "I have been engaged in this industry for 15 years, I have never seen such a thing." He added, Saflok system even allows the credit card data to the key card encoding options.

Norwegian electronic locking system manufacturer VingCard Jocelynn Lane, vice president, said: "I would say it certainly is a very old system - they are still in use - these systems may still be allowed to do so (refer directly to the credit card data encoding to the magnetic key on). "

Lane said travelers could find in the magnetic card keys to sensitive personal information on the only condition is that when they traveled abroad. She said: "Europe, some of the lock system, when you register for your credit card, guest name, all kinds of information input to the card on the key. But no such situation in the United States."

Find the perfect electronic key

Today's magnetic card key system, the use of flexible, cheap hotels and resorts in places widely used. Battery stand-alone access control systems rely on - no power or data connection, the operation is very simple; key change up is easy; locks have very high intelligence, can save time who entered the room and access to information, so as to security personnel leave a review of clues. As long as the normal battery, the system can be self-sustaining. Enter the new key each time, or the current key expires, the lock change combination lock for the next one.

Electronic locks and hotel companies are experimenting with other security key devices, including biometric fingerprint scanner, smart card and to make contact with the guests do not have locks on the card can open the door. Manufacturers also test infrared and other wireless technologies.

Proximity card reader is not popular because they can be used to track the whereabouts of the guests at all times. Hilton Grand Vacations Company CIO, American Hotel Association, said the Technical Committee Chairman Brian Garavuso, RFID chips embedded in a regular card in the test system has been deployed. He said: "Guests on the location of every moment we know that they feel uneasy."

Access control system manufacturers Saflok marketing manager Glenn Peacock, said his company can use the memory card door locks and smart card and magnetic stripe cards. However, to date, biometric fingerprint scanner has not been successful. Upon arrival of such systems and to generate a fingerprint reader for authentication of users and is the only method open the door. He said that although not save thumb fingerprint data, but users do not like to be taken fingerprints.

Norway VingCard Jocelynn Lane, vice president, said the cost and maintenance of access control system is easy to choose the best time to consider the factors of two factors. Sweden Timelox companies in a number of hotels in the deployment of smart card technology. Lane said, VingCard planned launch in 2006 its own RFID cards. In this system, the door Infrared way to build and install a wall thermostat connection, through the energy management system and the front of the access control system communication. This system has several advantages - for example, it can tell the door is open or forced open. It comes with room to determine whether any of the motion sensor, can adjust the climate control system to save energy when no one in the room.

It also enables remote control door lock, or to the front door can be reprogrammed. For example, if you enter a room on the 18th floor, find something wrong, you can call the front desk, on the 18th floor attendants can take you near a ready room. Front desk staff can reconfigure the two-room door, so that the new room, the door lock can accept your card, the old room's door lock does not accept. No guests can take the elevator back to the desk to complete it all.

Lane said that such systems are not suitable for all hotels. First, the cost of their use of magnetic key cards better than traditional electronic locks cheap. They are also more complex, more difficult to maintain them.

As these systems with front-and two-way communication between the rooms, it also brings a potential liability.

The hotel can afford such a system for energy conservation will be the return on investment. However, in most hotels, the rule is "keep it simple." Economy card key in the foreseeable future has been the hotel of choice for most of the security system. Source: "Computerworld"

Carry save something?

When guests check in the hotel, front desk property management system through the procedures for handling customer stay (1), property management system (PMS) maintains reservation information, guest registration information and customer billing information. PMS guests to create a unique account number, then send this number to lock management system (2), which will be the number encoded into (3) to customers in the magnetic card key, while there is room number written information , open the door lock code and check-in and check-out dates. Locks the data is encrypted using proprietary general format.

When the vacation place with the door card to allow guests dining, shopping or amusement park gift shop when consumption (4), account code and the names of the guests did not save encrypted form. These data are transmitted to POS scanning system (5). And POS system then consumer information, customer ID, and user name sent to the PMS, recorded in the customer's bill (6). However, all personal information - including the guest's address and credit card number - is stored in the PMS.


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1 comment:

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