FBI Warns of Foreign Hotel Network Malware

The FBI has released an alert warning travelers that there has been a rise of malware installed on laptops as part of fake software updates when a user connects to foreign hotel networks.

Malware Installed on Travelers’ Laptops Through Software Updates on Hotel Internet Connections

When the user connects their laptop to a hotel network a pop up window notifies the user that they need to update their software. When the user approves the update the malware is installed. The malware often installs a Trojan or key grabbing software to steal passwords and other sensitive data on the laptop.

This particular alert focuses on government, private industry, and academics who travel and stay in international hotels.

For the international traveler update your software and security patches before you leave. If you have to update your software while on the road, download the update directly from the software manufacturers’ website. Additionally, make sure the laptop firewall is active and antivirus software is running and up to date.

The advice of how to stay safe on hotel networks can extend to every traveler in the US and abroad.

Hotel wireless networks are notoriously unsecure and great care should be taken when using online resources. Just like unsecured wireless hotspots in public places such as cafes and coffee shops, wireless hotspots in hotels are vulnerable to criminals snooping or intercepting network traffic.

Simple steps such as making sure the website is secure before entering data, using a VPN and firewall go a long way to help protect your laptop from eavesdroppers and malware.

For information on how to protect your laptop on public wireless networks read:

SecureNU: Stay Safe on Public Wireless Networks

More Information:

FBI Beware of Malware Installed via Hotel Networks

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