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FBI alerts travelers of increasing pop-up window cyber-attacks

Travelers' laptops infected with malicious software when installed through pop ups

By CBR Staff Writer

Hackers are targeting travelers abroad through pop-up windows while they are trying to connect to Internet in their hotel rooms, according to a new report on cybercrime released by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has revealed that some travelers’ laptops were infected with malicious software while using hotel Internet connections.

FBI warns that while travelers try to establish their hotel room Internet connection, they will be presented with a pop-up window to update a widely-used software product, which if user clicks to accept and install, the malicious software will be installed on the laptop.

The agency said the pop-up window appeared to be offering a routine update to a legitimate software product for which updates are frequently available.

The FBI has warned travelers going abroad to be careful while updating software products on their hotel Internet connection and recommends checking the author or digital certificate of any prompted update to reveal an attempted attack.

The FBI also recommends travelers to update software before traveling abroad, and prefer software updates directly from the software vendor’s website if updates are necessary and not pop ups.

The FBI says travelers who believe they have been a target of a similar attack should immediately contact their local FBI office, and report it to their website as it will be referred to appropriate law enforcement agencies for consideration.

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