The Nanfang / Blog

Hotel Rooms at St Regis in Shenzhen Easy Prey for Hackers

Posted: 07/21/2014 12:52 pm

St.-Regis-ShenzhenNow that basic household appliances are being built with wireless capabilities, it goes without saying that they can be targets of hackers. That appears to be the case at one upscale Shenzhen Hotel.

Security vulnerabilities in an iPad-operated digital “butler” application at the Shenzhen St Regis Hotel easily allows hackers to control any of the rooms’ thermostat, lights, blinds, and TV.

Wired published a report that detailed the findings of Jesus Molina, who stayed at the St Regis Shenzhen last year and was able to discover and exploit the service’s security vulnerabilities. Molina found that the iPads provided to every room were running an old communication protocol called KNX that was running unencrypted. Molina stayed for two days and changed to four different rooms in order to investigate further.

“I could have changed every channel in every room so everybody could watch soccer with me, but I didn’t,” he said. However, Molina was able to make the “Do Not Disturb” lights outside the rooms on his floor to blink like a heartbeat.

Molina will be sharing his findings with the Black Hat security conference in August. He also shared his discovery with the hotel’s chief of security, who acknowledged the problem and said they are working to solve it.

st regis shenzhen


Photo: My Fancy House, Trip Advisor


Aging White Swan closed for renovations

Posted: 09/17/2011 2:05 pm

One of Guangzhou’s most iconic structures, the White Swan Hotel, is now closed for an entire year to facilitate large-scale renovations costing RMB600 million.

The hotel, known as the home of American and other foreign families who come to Guangzhou to adopt Chinese babies, has had a long and storied history. It was one of the first five-star hotels in Guangzhou and has become synonymous with the city.

The Life of Guangzhou tells us what’s in store:

The project will renew the hotel’s facilities and enlarge the rooms to help the first Sino-foreign cooperative five-star hotel to meet the ever-growing needs of patrons. After renovations the 843 rooms in the hotel will be reduced to about 500.

“We had over 90 percent occupancy yesterday,” said Xie Weijie, vice general manager of the hotel. He said many people had come to bid farewell these days.

According to Xie, the basic appearance of the hotel, especially given its unique scenic location, will be kept intact. However, the restaurants and dining halls will undergo work until early February of next year.

The article notes the Garden Hotel in Guangzhou received a similar upgrade last year. Another historic hotel, the Peace Hotel in Shanghai, was also closed for two years for a massive renovation. Like the White Swan, the Peace Hotel was nearly fully booked in the weeks leading up to its closure.

With new luxury hotels seemly opening in Guangzhou by the month, the White Swan was long overdue for a facelift.


Keep in Touch

What's happening this week in Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou? Sign up to be notified when we launch the This Week @ Nanfang newsletter.

sign up for our newsletter

Nanfang TV