By Kim Zetter
A vulnerability in many hotel television infrared systems can allow a hacker to obtain guests' names and their room numbers from the billing system.
It can also let someone read the e-mail of guests who use web mail through the TV, putting business travelers at risk of corporate espionage. And it can allow an intruder to add or delete charges on a hotel guest's bill or watch pornographic films and other premium content on their hotel TV without paying for it.
Adam Laurie, technical director of the London security and networking firm The Bunker showed Wired News how he conducted such attacks at hotels around the world before he was to speak about the vulnerability Saturday at the DefCon hacker conference in Las Vegas.
Laurie is known as Major Malfunction in the hacker community. He also revealed how infrared used for garage door openers and car-door locks could be hacked, using simple brute force programming techniques to decipher the code that opens the doors.