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Malicious attackers are targeting travelers abroad through pop-up windows while establishing an Internet connection in their hotel rooms, according to FBI analysis.

In the not so distant past, instances of travelers’ laptops suffered from a hit of malicious software while using hotel Internet connections. In these instances, the traveler was attempting to setup the hotel room Internet connection and saw a pop-up window notifying the user to update a widely-used software product.

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If the user clicked to accept and install the update, malicious software 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.

The FBI recommends all uses who travel abroad take extra caution before updating software products on their hotel Internet connection. Checking the author or digital certificate of any prompted update to see if it corresponds to the software vendor may reveal an attempted attack.

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The FBI also recommends travelers perform software updates on laptops immediately before traveling, and they download software updates directly from the software vendor’s Web site if updates are necessary while abroad.

Anyone who believes they have been a target of this type of attack should immediately contact their local FBI office, and report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The IC3’s complaint database links complaints together to refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration. The complaint information can also identify emerging trends and patterns.

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