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Crypto investor sues AT&T after ‘negligence’ led to $24m theft

US OPERATOR AT&T has been slapped with a $224m lawsuit by a  customer who claims the company’s “negligence” led to the theft of almost $24m (£18.9m) in cryptocurrency.

In a complaint filed with the US District Court in Los Angeles, Crypto investor Michael Terpin alleges that, thanks to AT&T’s “willing cooperation with the hacker, gross negligence, violation of its statutory duties, and failure to adhere to its commitments in its Privacy Policy,” he lost nearly $24m worth of cryptocurrency.

According to Terpin, hackers were twice able to convince AT&T to connect his number to a SIM card they controlled, enabling them to divert his calls and messages to them and to defeat two-factor authentication protections on his accounts. 

Terpin alleges that, by bypassing 2FA, the as-yet-unknown hackers were able to take over his Skype account, where they convinced a client to divert a payment to themselves.  

The second hack, which came after AT&T agreed to put an additional passcode on his account, saw a fraudster visit an AT&T store in Connecticut and manage to hijack Terpin’s account without providing the code or a “scannable ID” as AT&T requires, the complaint alleges.

Terpin believes the imposter was able to get his to get his phone number from an “insider cooperating with the hacker”

“What AT&T did was like a hotel giving a thief with a fake ID a room key and a key to the room safe to steal jewellery in the safe from the rightful owner,’ the complaint says.

“AT&T is doing nothing to protect its almost 140 million customers from SIM card fraud. AT&T is therefore directly culpable for these attacks because it is well aware that its customers are subject to SIM swap fraud and that its security measures are ineffective.

“AT&T does virtually nothing to protect its customers from such fraud because it has become too big to care.”

In a statement, AT&T said: “We dispute these allegations and look forward to presenting our case in court.”

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Source : Inquirer

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Professional Hackers India'. Technology Evangelist, Security Analyst, Cyber Security Expert, PHP Developer and Part time hacker.

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