Travelers Cautioned When Using Hotel Internet Connections Abroad

Type threatpost
Reporter Anne Saita
Modified 2013-04-17T16:32:17


Travelers abroad should be on alert for malware masquerading as a software update when they attempt to connect to the Internet from their hotel rooms.

A warning issued by the Internet Crime Complaint Center says the FBI and other government agencies recently noticed malware that targets guests trying to connect laptops to the Internet in their hotel rooms. In each instance, a pop-up window appearing to be a software update of “a widely-used software product” appeared during the setup. The Intelligence Note does not name the vendor, but did note it frequently releases legitimate updates in a similar manner. IC3 also did not identify the countries where complaints were lodged.

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“The FBI recommends that all government, private industry, and academic personnel who travel abroad take extra caution before updating software products on their hotel Internet connection,” it said in a message issued Tuesday. “Checking the author or digital certificate of any prompted update to see if it corresponds to the software vendor may reveal an attempted attack. The FBI also recommends that travelers perform software updates on laptops immediately before traveling, and that they download software updates directly from the software vendor’s Web site if updates are necessary while abroad.”

IC3 encourages anyone who believes they’ve encountered this type of attack to contact their local FBI office and promptly report it to them and at The information will be used to identify emerging trends and to build a possible legal case against the attackers.