September 19, 2015

September 19, 2015
Hotel Room Safes Aren't Actually that Safe

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Saturday and I hope you have had a beary safe and great week. Dab the AIDS Bear is off on another weekend of events so stay tuned for new pictures soon.

Because we travel a lot to speak at events and stay in hotels often we have learned a few things over the years. One of those things is the safe in your hotel room is not that safe.

Provided whatever valuables you brought on vacation are small enough to fit in the miniature safe in your hotel room, it's kind of assumed that once they're in there, they'll be... y'know, safe. If the above video by cyber security expert Jim Stickley is to be believed, though, that safe's way easier to crack than we'd like to think.

As Stickley demonstrates, certain models of hotel safe have a "backdoor" that allows potential thieves to circumvent the numeric keypad and break in with the standard lock-picking tools they'd use on a traditional door lock. The ease with which he's able to crack the locked safe is unsettling, especially once he seals it back up as though nothing ever happened.

Now, the video leaves us with an important question: do all hotel room safes have this same security flaw? Probably not, since a cursory Google search nets you scores of images of safes without the "backdoor" Stickley uses to gain access. However, a few of them do appear to have similar designs, which seems to indicate the same trick would work on them.

While the number of opportunistic hotel thieves with lock picking tools might be somewhat low, and they'll have to get past the door to your room first anyway, your best bet for keeping your valuables safe is either to keep them with you at all times -- not exactly practical -- or to just leave them at home. Your choice. But from first hand experience I would recommend leaving home your expensive jewelry unless you are going to wear it every day or have one spare set you can keep with you at all time. I've had something come up missing while traveling and depending on the piece, it could be heart breaking for you.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Saturday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab