Sci-tech

AT&T employees took bribes to put malware on network

AT&T employees took bribes to put malware on network”

The Department of Justice unveiled charges Tuesday against a Pakistani man who allegedly bribed AT&T employees to illegally unlock cellphones on the company's network. According to the indictment, "Muhammad Fahd sent the insiders multiple versions of the unlocking malware to test and flawless the malware on behalf of the conspiracy".

The alleged scheme started not later than April 2012 and lasted for about five years.

"We have been working closely with law enforcement since this scheme was uncovered to bring these criminals to justice and are pleased with these developments", an AT&T spokesperson tells Information Security Media Group.

Fahd was arrested in February 2018 in Hong Kong and extradited to the United States last Friday, federal authorities said in today's announcement.

Fahd has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to violate the Travel Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, four counts of wire fraud, two counts of accessing a protected computer in furtherance of fraud, two counts of intentional damage to a protected computer, and four counts of violating the Travel Act. Fahd is facing a maximum of 20 years behind bars if found guilty.

Fahd allegedly partnered with businesses that offered cell phone unlocking services in exchange for a fee.

The Department of Justice says that Muhammad Fahd, who has been extradited to the U.S. from Hong Kong, paid one employee over $420,000 over five years to unlock the phones. On unlocking the phones, the proprietary locking software would get disabled and which would let the phone work on multiple carrier systems.

AT&T believes the scheme had cost the company more than $5 million every year. The reason AT&T locked their phones was so customers would be forced to use their network even after their phone was paid off.

At first, Fahd and Jiwani allegedly paid out tens of thousands of dollars in bribes to AT&T employees. One insider collected over $428,000 in bribes during this time, prosecutors allege.

According to the indictment, between 2012 and 2017, Fahd recruited various AT&T employees to the conspiracy.

Fahd, who also went by the name Frank Zhang, operated under a company called Endless Trading FZE.

Fahd and Jiwani recruited the company's employees over the phone or through Facebook messages and once they agreed, they received lists of IMEI phone codes which they had to unlock to receive payment as cash or deposited in their bank accounts. Now the crooks made a decision to convince the AT&T employees to take the money and let them install a piece of malware on AT&T's network.

The Justice Department notes that three unnamed AT&T employees have pleaded guilty to various charges, including taking bribes to help unlock these smartphones.

U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran for the Western District of Washington said, "This defendant thought he could safely run his bribery and hacking scheme from overseas, making millions of dollars while he induced young workers to choose greed over ethical conduct".



Like this

loading...
loading...

Latest


10 August 2019
Kerala rains: Kochi airport closed till Sunday after heavy rains
Kerala received 155 mm (6.1 inches) of rain on Friday, ten times more than average, weather department data showed. By Thursday night, thousands of people were shifted to more than 100 relief camps operational all over the state.

09 August 2019
Congo Medics Arrested over Death of WHO Ebola Doctor
From the outset, World Health Organization classified the situation as a Level 3 emergency, which means it is "the most serious". Unfortunately, the global response to the Ebola outbreak in the DRC is not all that it could be.

09 August 2019
More Security Vulnerabilities on Intel CPUs, Microsoft Only Just Released a Fix
But speculative execution also leaves traces in-cache which attackers can leverage to leak privileged, kernel memory. It rolled out as part of the Patch Tuesday in July.

09 August 2019
Malaysia charges 17 Goldman Sachs figures over 1MDB scandal
Leissner has already pleaded guilty in America, while Ng was extradited to the U.S. from Malaysia in May and pleaded not guilty. In December, Malaysia filed charges against Goldman Sachs and its former bankers, Tim Leissner and Roger Ng.

09 August 2019
Trump has 'fanned the flames of white supremacy', says Joe Biden
Trump's rhetoric about an "invasion" at the southern border, Biden argued, is aligned with "the darkest forces in our nation". After Trump tweeted his go back screed, a leading neo-Nazi website said, this is the kind of nationalism we elected him for.

09 August 2019
Nubia Z20 phone has two displays and no notch
It can shoot 8K videos, supports 2.5cm macro shots, high-quality portraits, night mode and has a dual flash setup on the rear. In addition to 4G VoLTE, the Nubia Z20 provides support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, and USB Type-C fast charging port.

09 August 2019
5 veteran quarterbacks Eagles should consider after Nate Sudfeld injury
Sudfeld started instead of Carson Wentz as Eagles coach Doug Pederson gave nearly all of his healthy starters a night off. Sudfeld went into the medical tent for attention and was later carted off the field with an aircast on his left arm.

09 August 2019
Miami Dolphins' Kenny Stills insists Stephen Ross criticism isn't political
On Thursday, Stills doubled down on that argument. "It's important to me that the work that we're doing isn't just lip service". Then Stills revealed that the death threats he received at the height of the kneeling controversy in 2017 have returned.

09 August 2019
Google Offering Money-Back Price Guarantee on Google Flights
However, price guarantee is only available for flights booked through Google between August 13 and September 2. These recommendations cover everything from searching for hotels to restaurants and other things to do.

09 August 2019
Hubble Showcases New Portrait of Jupiter
Much smaller storms appear on Jupiter as white or brown ovals that can last as little as a few hours or stretch on for centuries. This global map of Jupiter released by NASA on August 8, 2019 was created using imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope .