The VICE Guide to Right Now Podcast

Hackers Are Selling Luxury Hotel Rooms on the Cheap

Reporter Joseph Cox tapped into the underground market to see how it works firsthand.
The lobby of a luxury hotel
Image: Kirk F/Public Domain

In Midtown Manhattan, getting a decent hotel room can be pricey, especially in the high-end buildings around the holiday season. And yet Motherboard cybersecurity reporter Joseph Cox managed to snag a luxury spot for $100 per night—less than half of the market rate—by tapping into a network of hackers who have created an underground market using stolen loyalty point accounts, employee discounts, and compromised industry insiders.


Cox investigated the burgeoning system firsthand and found out that these black market travel agents have set up shop on shady websites and marketplaces. They operate through secure messaging services like Telegram, and largely accept all transactions via Bitcoin.

On Wednesday's episode of The VICE Guide to Right Now Podcast, Cox talked to us about his experience with the vendors, along with what went into writing his piece for Motherboard's hacking week.

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