Man Accused of Setting Up ‘Evil Twin’ WiFi at Airports

By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff

After the arrest of a man accused of setting up “evil twin” WiFi networks in multiple airports to steal people’s data, police in Australia warned the public about using free networks. Perth resident Michael Clapsis, 42, appeared in a court in the city Friday and was granted bail on nine cybercrime charges, WA Today reports. He was arrested in April after an airline employee raised concerns about a suspicious network that appeared during a domestic flight, reports the Guardian. Investigators searched his baggage at Perth Airport and seized equipment including a portable wireless device, 9 News reports.

The Australian Federal Police allege that Clapsis set up free WiFi networks that mimicked real ones during flights and in locations including airports in Perth, Adelaide, and Melbourne. “When people tried to connect their devices to the free WiFi networks, they were taken to a fake webpage requiring them to sign in using their email or social media logins,” police said. “Those details were then allegedly saved to the man’s devices.” Clapsis allegedly used the logins to access personal information including stored images and bank details, reports WA Today.

AFP Western Command Cybercrime Detective Inspector Andrea Coleman said the case should serve as a reminder to be careful about using public networks, the West Australian reports. Her advice:

  • To connect to a free WiFi network, you shouldn’t have to enter any personal details—such as logging in through an email or social media account.”
  • “If you do want to use public WiFi hotspots, install a reputable virtual private network (VPN) on your devices to encrypt and secure your data when using the internet.”
  • “When using a public network, disable file sharing, don’t do anything sensitive, such as banking, while connected to it and once you finish using it, change your device settings to ‘forget network.'”
  • Coleman said police also recommend turning off WiFi on phones and other devices before going out, “to prevent your device from automatically connecting to a hotspot.”

(More cybercrime stories.)

Source: Newser

Rob Quinn studied communications at the University of Windsor and is a longtime student of Chinese history and language. As a former Hong Kong resident, he specializes in world news, especially in the Asia Pacific region, as well as travel and business news. Prior to joining Newser in 2007 he worked for Sky News and Sky Sports in London.

Image: Truth Unmuted

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