Southern California breaking news and trends

Hotel Shangri-La donation halts protest plan after anti-Semitism trial

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A screenshot of the Shangri-La hotel in Santa Monica.

The owner of Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, Tehmina Adaya, announced Friday a plan to make donations to Jewish organizations following a jury decision which determined the hotel and Adaya violated California's Unruh Civil Rights Act barring discriminating on the basis of sex, race, color or religion.

In a Hotel Shangri-La statement, Adaya said she never made disparaging remarks about the 2010 event attendees, and that she planned to appeal the jury decision. The owner said she believes the allegations were based on "false information from a disgruntled former employee" who did not appear in court.

Per Hotel Shangri-La:

Ms. Adaya, who has always supported diversity, announced an equal donation of $3,600 to both the Koby Mandell Foundation and Zahal Disabled Veterans Organization to reinforce her commitment to supporting Israel and appreciating diversity.


In addition, she extended a personal invitation to leaders of the Jewish and pro-Israel community to attend a private event, hosted by the Shangri-La, to be led by and coordinated with the Zionist Organization of America in Los Angeles within the next 12 months.


"I care deeply about the hurt, anger and misunderstanding that has resulted and I want the Jewish and pro-Israel community to know I condemn anti-Semitism. I welcome diversity and never made disparaging comments to anyone who attended an event here," said Ms. Adaya.


Hacker Inn: Millions of hotel locks may have massive security flaw

hotel hallway

Photo by Luca Predellini via Flickr Creative Commons

Forbes reports that a potential security flaw affecting millions of hotel room locks will be revealed Tuesday at a security conference.

Cody Brocious, a 24-year-old security researcher, intends to present at the Black Hat security conference a pair of vulnerabilities he found in Onity locks, a keycard reader installed on four to five million hotel room doors worldwide.

Quieter than a spare key shoved in a fake rock and hurled through a kitchen window, access to countless hotel rooms could be tracelessly available to anyone with a few hacker tricks and low cost hardware up their sleeve. Through the DC port on the underside of the reader, Brocious can open a lock, though inconsistently, in a matter of seconds using a device he built for less than $50. 

The system’s vulnerability arises, Brocious says, from the fact that every lock’s memory is entirely exposed to whatever device attempts to read it through that port.

Though each lock has a cryptographic key that’s required to trigger its “open” mechanism, that string of data is also stored in the lock’s memory, like a spare key hidden under the welcome mat. So it can be immediately accessed by Brocious’s own spoofed portable device and used to open the door a fraction of a second later.