Hotel magnetic key cards.

I was passed this today. I can find no reference on the Internet about it, apart from repeats of this bulletin. It smacks of a hoax to me but it is theoretically possible.

I think it would be unlikely that a hotel would NEED to keep this information on a key card but it wouldn't suprise me if they did!

I have emailed Kent Police to check with them but I won't be holding my breath for a response.

If any of you have any further information that could clarify this, it would be great. If anyone has access to one of these cards and a card reader, that would be even better! It is unlikely I will be staying at a hotel for a little while yet....



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Astonishing speed from Kent Police.

According to Kent Police, this is 'inaccurate' and 'Kent police would not circulate information in such a format.'

So, that clears that up, then.

However, they do go on to say...

"That's just a nasty rumor," says Kathy Shepard, vice president in charge of corporate communications for Hilton Hotels Corporation. "Our key cards are encrypted with minimal information -- the guest's name, room number and arrival and departure dates -- and encrypted in such a way that they can't be read by ordinary card readers."

But I think the essence of the information received is in fact, bogus.


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On Wed, 04 Apr 2007 16:59:52 +0100, Bogwitch mused:

I'd be surprised if it contained any information whatsoever about the guest, usually the guests information is on the coimputer that just activates\\deactivates the card. The card is linked to the customer in the database on the PC only.

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Well, I don't know about encryption but those cards that I "got to the airport and realized I forgot to drop them off" usually don't have much beyond room number and some sort of a hash (which might even be just MD5-ed combination of room number and last name or last date of stay). Basically, as others pointed out here, there should be no need to keep ANY info on the key itself - it's just an ID that can then pull up as much data as one wants from the computer up front.

Or maybe I should start staying in Hilton ... :-)

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