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.

More news: Google Offering Money-Back Price Guarantee on Google Flights

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
Walmart CEO responds to shooting amid calls to end gun sales
Hargrove, the Walmart spokesman, said Marshall and Kesner were the only employees who had done so. It stopped selling handguns in 1993 , and in 2015 ceased sales of assault-style rifles.

10 August 2019
Walmart pulls violent game displays; no change on gun sales
Others noted that video games are just as popular in other countries that don't suffer the same rate of gun violence as the U.S. It is facing pressure to stop selling firearms altogether and some of that pressure is internal.

10 August 2019
Antonio Brown Upset About His Helmet, Files Grievance With NFL
Brown wants be allowed to wear the helmet he prefers, not one of the helmets that league rules mandate, league sources said. According to reports at the time, each team's equipment manager had been instructed to remove all banned helmets.

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
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
Apple Watch Now Controls Nearly Half of the Smartwatch Market
Samsung's gain was primarily at the expense of Fitbit , which saw its market sharing plunging from 15.2% a year ago to 9.2%. Apple shipped 6 million watches in the second quarter compared to 4 million in the same quarter a year ago .

09 August 2019
WhatsApp's Security Flaw Can Allow Hackers To Manipulate Your Messages
In June, WhatsApp was criticized as the source of fake news circulating around the India, Brazil, Kenya, and the UK. WhatsApp's "protobuf2 protocol" was converted to JSON to find out how the messages could be manipulated.

09 August 2019
National Basketball Association mental health memo sets new expectations for teams
Commissioner Adam Silver addressed concerns around players' mental health in March while at the Sloan Conference in Boston. Mental health and issues of anxiety and depression have been increasingly prevalent in society these days.

09 August 2019
Israel Reveals Lost Franz Kafka Archive
About 15 years later Brod, also a Czech Jewish writer, was forced to flee Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia for Tel Aviv in Israel . Eventually, Israel's Supreme Court sided with the library and ordered the papers to be handed over to them.

09 August 2019
OnePlus TV listing hints at Android TV, screen sizes, and USA availability
The Bluetooth SIG filing also mentions that it's an LED TV rather than a TV based on LCD tech, and packs Bluetooth 5 .0 support. We don't know for sure what kind of technology the OnePlus TV displays will boast, but we might know the thumbs of the panels.