Update your Software at Home and Avoid Vacation Cybercrime
Computer malware picked up while on holiday makes a poor souvenir
By Florence Klein
Cyber criminals hope you will relax on your vacation and not worry about software threats. This leaves them an opening to get malware installed on your laptop computer while you think you are updating software. Government agencies, including the FBI, have identified cyber criminal attacks focusing on travelers using Internet connections in their vacation and business hotel rooms and lobbies.
The criminals push these malware attacks through fake software update pop-up windows when hotel guests are establishing Internet connectivity. The malicious software pops up with a false request to update a common legitimate software product. The product was not identified but the reports say it is a software product that often requests updates and has frequent updates available.
Travelers who have accepted installation of the offered fake up-date find themselves with malicious software on their laptop.
The FBI and Internet Crime Complaint Center recommend all travelers including government, private industry, and academic personnel to take extreme caution before updating software products through a hotel Internet connection. This involves checking the author and/or product digital certificate of any and all prompted updates to see if them correspond to the software vendor indicated. A little research may reveal an attempted attack.
The safest and most relaxing way to get around these malware attacks while on vacation is perform a software update check just before you travel. This should eliminate the need to do any updates until you return home. If updates are required before you get home, they should be performed directly from the software vendor’s website.
If you believe you have been the target of a pop-up software update attack, you should contact your local FBI office and promptly report it to the IC3’s website at www.IC3.gov.
Published May 9, 2012