FBI Warns Of Hotel Wi-Fi Malware Spread

An FBI body warns of malware being spread via hotel Wi-Fi connections

An “intelligence note” prepared by the US Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has warned users of a new type of malware attack targeting hotel guests.

The malware is spread through hotel Wi-Fi networks, posing as an update for a popular software product.

IC3 has based this warning on the information provided by the FBI and other US government agencies.

Better safe than sorry

The IC3 is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) – a consulting agency dealing with economic and high-tech offences. It accepts online crime complaints and publishes regular reports and warnings about emerging new uses of malware, aimed at regular Internet users.

www © alexskopje - Fotolia According to IC3, the number of laptops getting infected with malicious software while using hotel Internet connections is on the rise.

“In these instances, the traveller 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,” IC3 said. If the user agreed to install the update, malicious software was installed instead.

The FBI recommended that all government, private industry and academic personnel who travel abroad take extra caution before updating software products. It advised users to check digital certificates of any update prompts, to see if they match the name of the company.

Updating your laptop before going abroad is also a good idea. Finally, when in doubt, it is better to spend some time going to the software vendor’s website to verify that the update is necessary.

Americans have a reason to be careful while travelling abroad, with industrial espionage a very real issue. Countries such as China and Russia have been previously accused of stealing vital information from careless foreign businessmen.

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