If you've ever taken a laptop on a work trip, here's some troubling news: The FBI and national cybercrime agencies are warning people traveling abroad to be wary of shady scammers planting malware via insecure hotel Internet connections.
In an advisory issued yesterday (May 8), the Internet Crime Complaint Center(IC3) notes that malware perpetrators are masking their cybercrime weapons as popup software updates travelers see when setting up their Internet connections. (The IC3 is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, and funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.)
"The popup window appeared to be offering a routine update to a legitimate software product for which updates are frequently available," the IC3 explained. "If the user clicked to accept and install the update, malicious software was installed on the laptop."
To mitigate the threat of contracting a harmful virus on your personal computer, or your company laptop, the FBI recommends that "all government, private industry and academic personnel who travel abroad take extra caution before updating software on their hotel Internet connection."
The FBI advises travelers to perform software updates immediately before traveling, and to download software updates only from vendors' websites.