Jetting off abroad? Pack protection ... for your Wi-Fi
Feds warn of malware attacks on hotel net surfers
A US government agency is warning travellers to be wary of malware that installs itself via pop-up browser windows on hotel internet connections.
The malicious dialogue boxes typically pose as software updates to legitimate software products, an advisory from the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) explains.
"The FBI recommends that all government, private industry, and academic personnel who travel abroad take extra caution before updating software products on their hotel internet connection," IC3 warns. "[Check] the author or digital certificate of any prompted update to see if it corresponds to the software vendor may reveal an attempted attack.
"The FBI also recommends that travellers perform software updates on laptops immediately before travelling, and that they download software updates directly from the software vendor’s website if updates are necessary while abroad."
Reading between the lines, the agency is urging business travellers to safeguard themselves against malware-based attacks that are ultimately aimed at industrial espionage. ®
Well, the warning is certainly appreciated, but...
...anyone who falls for a pop-up that appears out of nowhere and tells them they need to update their software while on a strange WiFi connection has got to be... shall we say... hopelessly goddamn' rock stupid.
Of course, one of the first things I did after installing my current Adobe Creative Suite was to turn off auto-updating and create a "deny forever" connection rule in LittleSnitch for all my Adobe CS apps. Turning auto-updating off in Firefox -- and everything else with the ability to auto-update -- pretty much goes without saying.
In more recent news....
.... Noah has built an Ark.
Updates turned off
As they seem to charge you so much for your connection, why waste your time and money updating abroad anyway? A bare bones machine for going away with seems to be the order of the day, with nothing much installed on it.