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FBI Warning on Hotel Wi-Fi

Published on May 20, 2012 by Sweet Marie

FBI Warning on Hotel WiFi

Hotel Wi-Fi is very convenient. When you’re traveling and need access to the Internet, it’s very easy to hop online quickly from your hotel room to check your email or monitor your social networks. You may even decide to pay a few bills while you’re there. Many business travelers complete a lot of work·from their hotel rooms using hotel Wi-Fi.·However, these activities may not be completely safe.
Recently, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), which is made up by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, issued a statement regarding hotel Internet connections. The intelligence note, titled “Malware Installed on Travelers’ Laptops through Software Updates on Hotel Internet Connections” showed the dangers of public Wi-Fi.
“Recent analysis from the FBI and other government agencies demonstrates that malicious actors are targeting travelers abroad through pop-up windows while establishing an Internet connection in their hotel rooms” said the statement. “In these instances, the traveler was attempting to setup the hotel room Internet connection and was presented with a pop-up window notifying the user to update a widely-used software product. If the user clicked to accept and install the update, malicious software was installed on the laptop. “
Unfortunately you never know what to expect when you use public Internet. Therefore it is important that you never download or install anything while you are on the road. The IC3 statement advises users to take extra caution when using hotel Wi-Fi.
“The FBI also recommends that travelers perform software updates on laptops immediately before traveling, and that they download software updates directly from the software vendor’s Web site if updates are necessary while abroad,” it reads.
Never install anything from a public computer, even if the website states that you specifically need to install a certain program in order to connect. These programs could damage your computer or steal your personal information.·To avoid getting yourself in trouble, verify the connection procedure with the hotel before you attempt to connect. Hotel staff will be able to·fully explain·what steps need to be taken in order to connect to the Internet. They will alert you of any pop-ups that may be·present and confirm that you·do not need to install any programs in order to connect.·You should also verify the exact name of the Wi-Fi hotspot that is operated by the hotel. A common scam is for criminals to create similar hotspot names (such as “Free Hotel Internet”·when the official hotspot name is·”Hotel Internet,” for example) in hopes that unknowing guests connect to them. Once you connect to this unofficial network, the criminals can then spy on your Internet activity without you knowing.
Even if you successfully connect to a hotel Wi-Fi spot or any other public Internet connection, you should still be careful about your activities. You never know exactly how secure a public Internet connection really is, so exercise caution. Try not to transmit personal information such as banking details or passwords over public Wi-Fi.
Source:  SafeTech Alarm Systems
Category: Travel Tips

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