AT&T sued for SIM swap attack that caused man to lose $1.8 million in cryptocurrency


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AT&T is being sued for allegedly not doing enough to stop a SIM swapping hack in May 2018 that led to an individual losing $1.8 million worth of cryptocurrency.

According to ABC News, Seth Shapiro is suing the American conglomerate, alleging that it allowed hackers to take control of his phone and all the data on it, including personal and financial.

Shapiro told ABC News that he first discovered that something was wrong with his phone when he noticed the device could connect to Wi-Fi but had no access to the network of his mobile operator, AT&T.

The man, based in California, is now suing the telecom giant for not providing a way to stop hackers from taking over his account – and all associated sensitive personal and financial data – and switching, or “swapping” it to their own.

According to him, the digital thieves were resetting the passwords connected to his phone number and stealing “his entire life savings” as he was sitting in an AT&T store in New York City – where he went to report the problem. Shapiro said he was unable to do anything to stop it, with the company's employees not doing anything useful about it, either – despite being alerted to the fact that the hack was in progress.

The cryptocurrency that was then transferred from his account to that of hackers belonged to Shapiro, as well as “his business venture.”

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AT&T's customer service received a rather bad review in the court filing, too:

“There was nobody to get in touch with. The only people who could help you was AT&T and they absolutely could not care less… You essentially have nowhere to turn.”

Shapiro alleges that the hack had an enormous influence on the life of his family and that the goal of the lawsuit is to make sure AT&T and its ilk are held responsible for such events that have the power to negatively affect an individual's well-being.

The conglomerate, on the other hand, told ABC News that they disagreed with the accusations and would present their case in court.

And AT&T took the opportunity to advise their paying customers to help themselves, providing a link that would allow them to learn “how to help protect themselves from this scam.”

Meanwhile, AT&T said – they are working to stay on top of the problem – but the world's largest telecommunications company is apparently finding it hard to keep up with hackers, who “constantly change their tactics.”

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Didi Rankovic

Didi Rankovich is an experienced online journalist, editor, and translator, with a career spanning over ten years writing for major a English-language website in Serbia, and previously working as translator for international organizations and peacekeepers in the Balkans. Rankovich is passionate about free and open source tech and is a head contributor for Reclaim The Net, focusing on lead stories. [email protected]