FBI Warning: Download Updates Over Hotel WiFi Connections–At Your Own Risk!

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bill-swift - May 13, 2012

Before you click on the "Update" button on your computer while you're in your hotel room, think again. The FBI is warning people against doing this exact same thing for the reason that cybercriminals are now using pop-up alerts delivered over hotel connections to infect computers with malware.

This was according to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), who explained that these pop ups appeared when the users were trying to set up an Internet connection while they were in their hotel rooms.

In these instances, the traveler was attempting to setup the hotel room Internet connection and was presented with a pop-up window notifying the user to update a widely-used software product. If the user clicked to accept and install the update, malicious software was installed on the laptop. The pop-up window appeared to be offering a routine update to a legitimate software product for which updates are frequently available.

-- FBI IC3

After these discoveries were made, the FBI issued a warning to all government, private industry, and academic personnel, and to everyone else who traveled regularly to take 'extra caution' before updating any software programs over their hotel Internet connection. The FBI gave several tips on how travelers can do this:

  • Check the author or digital certificate of any prompted update to see if it corresponds to the software vendor
  • Perform software updates on laptops immediately before traveling
  • Download software updates directly from the software vendor's website, if updates are necessary, while abroad

Article by Hazel Chua
Gigadgetry: Cool Gadgets, Tech News, Quirky Devices

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