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'It's Scary Stuff': Cyber-Security Expert Says Recording-Device Investigation At Hyatt Hotel Is Not Uncommon

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police are investigating a report of recording devices found in guest rooms at a Minneapolis hotel.

The cameras were discovered at the downtown Hyatt Regency on Saturday.

WCCO's Esme Murphy spoke with a cyber-security expert who warned: Situations like this are both common and hard to detect.

Minneapolis Police continue to release few details about the investigation, including what exactly they found and in how many Hyatt hotel rooms.

Much of the information in a police report has been redacted.

"It's scary stuff," said Mark Lanterman, Computer Forensic Services.

Mark Lanterman is a former investigator for the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Taskforce. He's also the Chief Technology Officer for Computer Forensics, a cyber-security firm whose clients include the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department and the Ramsey County Attorney's office.

"Does this shock you?" Esme Murphy asked. "No, it doesn't shock me," Lanterman replied.

Lanterman sat with WCCO as he browsed the internet for affordable, high powered, small surveillance cameras.

"$36 for a camera that big," Lanterman said.

Lanterman asked us not to videotape the pages so as not to make it easier for anyone trying to commit this type of crime. He says a person who has installed a hidden camera can watch the video feed anywhere in the world.

"It would be very easy to sneak another device onto a hotel's Wi-Fi network, stream that video over the internet to the computer where the voyeur is sitting," Lanterman explained.

Lanterman says it can be hard to trace who is responsible for a crime like this and that people should be aware that surveillance cameras are getting better, smaller and cheaper and can be installed almost anywhere.

The Hyatt Regency says the security of its guests is a top priority. The general manager says they are fully cooperating with the investigation.

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