International travelers should beware of any log-on pop-ups

Travelers abroad beware: Pop-up windows that require you to download a supposed software update in order to get online may instead be installing a malicious program that could harm your computer.

business traveler

The Internet Crime Complaint Center released a warning earlier this year that said the FBI was aware of such attacks and that such update prompts are tied to a widely used program, though it did not specify which one. Muddying the waters is that this vendor often releases updates in similar fashion. The statement didn’t specify which countries these attacks have been reported in, but it went on to urge travelers to update all of their software before they leave home and to do so directly through a vendor’s website.

“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,” the IC3 wrote in its statement. “Checking the author or digital certificate of any prompted update to see if it corresponds to the software vendor may reveal an attempted attack.”

Anyone who has experienced such an attack is urged to contact their local FBI branch or to log their complaint with the IC3 at their website, www.ic3.gov.

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