Man sentenced for 12 years in AT&T ‘Unlocking’ Scheme

Date: 18th September 2021

Severity: High

A dual Pakistan & Grenada citizen was sentenced for 12 years in prison for a conspiracy of ‘Unlocking’ that unlocked nearly 2 million AT&T smartphones. Due to this unlawful act, carrier says it resulted in $200 million worth in customer losses.

As per Department of Justice, Muhammad Fahd, a 35 years male, used the alias “Frank Zhang” during this criminal act and recruited AT&T employees from a call center located in Bothon, Washington, to unlock smartphones. Fahd used the mode of bribery to get access to credentials of AT&T employees in order to unlock smartphones for the customers who were not eligible.

Fahd was found guilty for committing wire fraud in September 2020 and at a hearing on Thursday, U.S. District Judge of Western District of Washington termed Fahd’s activity as “terrible cybercrime.”

“This defendant is a modern-day cybercriminal who combined his technological expertise with old-school techniques such as bribery, intimidation, and exploitation,” Acting US Attorney Tessa M Gorman said in a news release.

Reference links: Data breach today, Outlook

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