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Culture

In Finland: Stealing Wi-Fi to rob the bank

Finland, the country that brought us Nokia, is known as one of the most advanced nations when it comes to wireless communications. However, that unsecured Wi-Fi networks can be used by people who are up to no good appears to be news there. A Finnish regulatory agency this week sent out an official warning on the matter, according to the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper.

The warning follows what could be a scene from a cable TV crime show. The 26-year-old data security chief at GE Money in Finland allegedly took home a company laptop, logged on to his neighbor's unsecured wireless network and transfered 200,000 euros, about $246,000, from his employer to another account, according to Finnish news reports.

Before police were able to pin the crime on the GE Money employee, they blamed the owner of the unprotected wireless network. That individual was cleared after law enforcement officials searched his home, the Helsingin Sanomat reported.

Authorities were then able to trace the transactions to a laptop owned by GE Money and discovered that it had been used by the current suspect, according to the newspaper. The data security chief claims he was forced to commit the crime by others, the newspaper reported.

The case is believed to be the first in Finland where Wi-Fi was used for criminal purposes. Officials in the Scandinavian country are now urging Wi-Fi users to lock down their networks by using WEP and WPA as well as strong passwords on their routers.