A Pakistani swindler has been sentenced to 12 years in prison AT&T, the largest telecommunications company in the world, lost more than $ 200 million after he and his conspirators coordinated a fraud that for seven years led to the fraudulent unlocking of almost 2 million phones.
Throughout this operation, the Muhammad Fahd bribed many AT&T employees to achieve its goal, including unlocking phones, providing access to their credentials and setting up malware which gave him remote access to the mobile phone company's servers.
«Since 2012, Fahd, 35, has conspired with others to recruit AT&T employees at a call center in Bothell, Washington, to unlock a large number of mobile phones for profit.» Reported the Department of Justice (DOJ).
From the summer of 2012 until April 2013, Fahd recruited AT&T employees, bribing them with hundreds of thousands of dollars to remove the protection of the cell phone locking network.
As of April 2013, the scammer hired a malware developer to design the right tools, after AT&T introduced a new unlocking system that prevented corrupt employees from continuing to unlock phones on his behalf.
Once deployed on the company's network by bribed employees, the malware gathered enough information to create additional malware, which crooks used for remote “processing fraudulent and unauthorized unlock requestsFrom Pakistan.
From November 2014 to September 2017, Fahd and several conspirators also bribed AT&T employees to install hardware devices, such as wireless access points, on the operator's internal network.
Following this breach, the conspirators gained access to AT & T's systems to automate the "process of submitting fraudulent and unauthorized unlock requests.»
Fahd and his conspirators used several companies to cover up their illegal activities, including Swift Unlocks Inc, Endless Trading FZE (also known as Endless Trading FZC), Endless Connections Inc and iDevelopment Co., according to the indictment.
AT&T found that 1.900.033 cell phones were unlocked illegally, with the result 201,497,430.94 dollars in losses due to lost payments.
The company also sued former employees who were fired after discovering they had been bribed for illegally unlocking phones and installing malware and malware on its network.
Fahd was arrested in Hong Kong in February 2018 and extradited to the United States in August 2019. He remained in prison until being sentenced earlier this week to 12 years in prison after being charged with conspiracy to commit fraud in September 2020.