An intelligence note from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, warns that global travelers are being targeted through pop-up windows when they connect to the Internet in hotel rooms.
"Recently, there have been instances of travelers' laptops being infected with malicious software while using hotel Internet connections," the IC3 states. "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."
"This advisory from the FBI follows a report by Bloomberg which claims that Chinese hackers have stolen private data from as many as 760 firms by hacking into the iBahn broadband and entertainment service offered to guests of hotel chains such as Marriott International Inc.," writes Forbes' Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. "Firms compromised in this attack are believed to include Research in Motion Ltd. and Boston Scientific Corp., as well as some of the largest corporations and niche innovators in sectors such as aerospace, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology."
"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,'" writes SecurityNewsDaily's Matt Liebowitz. "The FBI advises travelers to perform software updates immediately before traveling, and to download software updates only from vendors' websites."