An analysis of unauthorized wireless network usage in Western Australia

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


University of Plymouth


ECU Security Research Institute




Szewczyk, P., Blackman, D., & Sansurooah, K. (2017). An analysis of unauthorized wireless network usage in Western Australia. In Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Human Aspects of Information Security & Assurance (HAISA 2017). (pp. 272-281). Available here


The use of unsecured wireless networks has increased to unprecedented levels within metropolitan areas, typically encompassing thousands of wireless networks within close proximity. Whilst the deployment of publicly accessible wireless networks provides end-users with a quick and efficient mechanism to access the Internet, limited research has been conducted into end-user’s behaviour whilst connected to an unsecured wireless network. This paper assesses the behaviours through a series of empirical experiments. Wireless Raspberry Pi honeypots with high-gain antennas were deployed throughout the Perth, Western Australian metropolitan area. End-users connecting to the wireless network were asked to accept an absurd Terms of Use agreement. Once connected, any domains or services requested were captured for further analysis coupled with preferred network list data for subsequent device tracking. The research demonstrated that end-users neglect the need for personal privacy and may risk exposing their personal data by connecting to unknown networks. Key comparisons are made with previous research to better understand end-user behaviour.

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