The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning travelers to be on the lookout for fake software updates booby trapped with malware that are being pushed through hotel internet connections.
FBI: Beware Of Malware Installed Via Hotel Networks The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning travelers to be in the lookout for fake software updates booby trapped with malware that are being pushed through hotel internet connections.
The Seal of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to the FBI, there has been an increase in instances of travelers’ notebooks being infected with malicious software while using hotel internet connections. While attempting to set up the internet connection in the room, some users have been presented with a pop-up notifying them of an update a widely-used software product.
Accepting the update resulted in malicious software being installed on the notebook.
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (ISC3) has offered up some good advice for travelers, including:
- Carry out all software updates before traveling.
- Checking the author or digital certificate of any prompted update to see if it corresponds to the software vendor.
- Download software updates direct from the vendor’s website.
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.
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.
By breaking into iBahn’s networks, hackers may have had access to millions of confidential e-mails, even encrypted ones.
Last month, software engineer Justin Watt noticed during a stay at a Marriott International hotel in the U.S. that code was being injected into websites visited via the hotel WiFi in order to push third-party advertisement to users. According to an official statement from Marriott International, this was done “unbeknownst to the hotel”.
While the advertisements served were harmless, it can’t be reassuring to visitors to find that Marriott International didn’t know what was going on with its own network.