The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has arrested a 33-year-old man from Hampton Park in Victoria, claiming he hacked into more than 90 internet accounts.
The man has been under scrutiny by the AFP's high-tech crime unit since last September, when a local telco alerted the Federal Police of suspicious activity being carried out within its network. The man allegedly hacked into nearly a hundred private and business internet accounts, downloading data and conducting other fraudulent activities. In a statement, the AFP said he managed to access account details through customers' modems via the internet.
The nature of the stolen data and the identity of the telecommunications company remains unknown. The AFP said the telecommunications company reset passwords after the warning, but that the man tried again to access unlawfully the accounts of its customers.
After a search warrant was executed yesterday, computer equipment was confiscated and the man was arrested. He will now face Dandenong Magistrates Court today over computer intrusion-related charges such as unauthorised access, modification or impairment with the intent to commit a serious offence.
AFP assistant commissioner Neil Gaughan said that the arrest should remind people to protect their safety online. "Anyone can be targeted by criminals online, it's important to be aware of the risks and take appropriate action to protect personal information," he said.
"Members of the public need to ensure they choose strong passwords for online accounts which they update regularly, using a combination of capital letters, numbers and symbols to ensure they are difficult to decipher," Gaughan said.