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Australian man charged for fake Wi-Fi scam on domestic flights

An unnamed 42-year-old Australian man is facing serious charges after allegedly setting up fake Wi-Fi networks to steal user data on domestic flights.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) launched an investigation in April 2024 after an airline reported a suspicious Wi-Fi network identified by its employees. The investigation led to the man’s arrest in May and the seizure of a portable wireless device, a laptop, and a mobile phone from his luggage and home.

Authorities believe the man created “evil twin” Wi-Fi networks that mimicked legitimate Wi-Fi hotspots at airports and on flights in Perth, Melbourne, and Adelaide.

When unsuspecting users tried to connect to these fake free networks, they were directed to a web page where they were tricked into entering their email addresses or social media login credentials.

The AFP warns that this information could be used to access a wide range of a victim’s personal data, including online communications, private photos and videos, and even bank details.

The man has been charged with various offenses, including unauthorized access to electronic communication systems, possessing data with the intent to commit a crime, and obtaining personal financial information dishonestly. If convicted, he could face up to 23 years in prison.

The AFP urges caution when using public Wi-Fi networks, particularly those that require login information. To protect your data, consider installing a reputable virtual private network (VPN) on your devices whenever using public Wi-Fi. A VPN encrypts your data traffic, making it much more difficult for criminals to steal your information.

Nisha Mehta

Nisha Mehta is a talented Android app developer and an avid enthusiast of all things related to the Android platform. With her expertise in app development, Nisha creates innovative and user-friendly Android applications that cater to a wide range of user needs. She shares her valuable insights, tips, and tricks on Android development, empowering fellow developers and enthusiasts to excel in their craft.

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