Your Hotel Room Door Lock Is Easily Hackable. Here’s What To Do About It

by SharonKurheg

We’d all like to think that when we’re in a hotel room, we have some degree of safety and security for our stuff and ourselves. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case:

You can keep your online privacy safe with the instructions in the post above. But they can’t do anything to your luggage or safe if they can’t get into your room. And they can’t break into your room because it’s got the deadbolt and stuff, right? So you’re safe, right?


There are unscrupulous people everywhere, waiting for an opportunity to take what’s yours. Some people are willing to teach these dishonest people how to get to your stuff, either directly or indirectly, because “you can find anything on the internet.” Like these:

How to unlock a “key card” lock with a dry erase marker:

How to unlatch a latched hotel room door #1:
(My apologies – I’m not sure what he was smoking, but this guy is really annoying)

How to unlatch a latched hotel room door #2:
(Not quite as annoying as the other guy, but still questionably smoking something and the video bounces around a whole lot)

The deadbolted hotel room that was opened with the “Privacy” card:
(Thanks to Jeffery M. for this one!)

And, of course, there was this situation in 2017, when two employees of F-Secure, an international cybersecurity firm, discovered that due to a design flaw in the company’s older software, the electronic locks of millions of hotel rooms worldwide were vulnerable to hackers. Worse yet, each hotel had to install the patch manually – so of course you wonder how many of them actually did.

So what can you do?

There are several gadgets on the market that claim to stop hackers from getting into your room. Some are as simple as a doorstop that you use from the inside (when you’re in the room, of course) and others mess with the door’s locking mechanism.

I would be hesitant to use any of them, to be honest. True, the thought of someone getting into my hotel room without my knowledge or permission is scary, but I feel more threat if I have to leave my room in an emergency and can’t because I have to undo whatever I’ve done to the door/lock to keep people out.  Or what if there was an emergency IN my room and I was incapacitated when I needed someone to come in? They wouldn’t be able to.

So for me, I’ll just keep things as they are. As always, Your Mileage May Vary.

P.S. – before anyone tells me that I’ve now told potential thieves how to break into any hotel room (because yep, I got several of those types of messages with my post about how easy it is to break into an in-room safe in a hotel), no I haven’t. I didn’t pass on anything more than results on a search for UNLOCK HOTEL DOOR HACK on YouTube. I’m sure potential thieves have already gone that route.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


derek April 11, 2021 - 11:45 am

I read about Israeli intelligence agents getting into someone’s hotel room in Dubai. They can probably do it in one second.

DaninMCI April 26, 2021 - 6:28 am

Interesting stuff. I never really trust hotel locks anyway but you’d think they would at least slow someone down a bit more than they do. Seems like the only people they really keep out are guests who lose their keys or have them coded wrong at check-in.

Clyn6 April 26, 2021 - 3:03 pm

My husband makes fun of me for my low tech hack. I put something leaning against the door so that if the door opens it will tip over and make noise (think of empty aluminum cans). Only works when in the room, I have not heard of any devices that help when you are not in the room.

Mesut Bayraktar December 10, 2022 - 7:24 pm

Someone who wants to enter breaks that door and enters again.


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