Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Man with Laptop Held for Hijacking Wi-Fi from Street

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Man with Laptop Held for Hijacking Wi-Fi from Street

Article excerpt


A MAN has been arrested for hijacking an unprotected wireless broadbandconnection, police said today.

The 39-year-old was held after two police community support officers becamesuspicious when they spotted him using a laptop computer on a garden wall.

When he was questioned yesterday morning he admitted to using someone else'sunsecured wi-fi broadband connection outside the house in Chiswick.

He was taken to Chiswick police station where the case was handed over to theMetropolitan Police's computer crime unit.

The man has been bailed to return on 11 October following further inquiries,police said. He was arrested under section one of the Computer Misuse Act andSection 125 of the Communications Act 2003. He faces a fine, six months inprison - or both.

Wi-fi, or Wireless Fidelity, allows users to connect to the internet atbroadband speeds without cables.

Experts have warned wi- fi users to secure their computers or risk someonehijacking or "piggybacking" their connection.

Detective Constable Mark Roberts of the computer crime unit said: "This arrestshould act as a warning to anyone who thinks it is acceptable to illegally useother people's broadband connections.

"To do so potentially breaches the Computer Misuse Act and the CommunicationsAct. Computer users need to be aware that this is unlawful and police willinvestigate any violation we become aware of." A police spokeswoman said:"People need to be aware that this is illegal, which many do not realise.

"Potentially someone could hack into personal records and it makes themvulnerable." She added: "It is not technically difficult to password protectyour wi-fi connection. We advise everybody to do this." Britain's firstconviction for the offence of hijacking a wireless broadband connection was in2005..

Gregory Straszkiewicz, then 24, is believed to have been caught using hislaptop while parked outside the home of a wi-fi user, in Ealing. …

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