- Tram Ho
A US court has just sentenced a man to 12 years in prison for illegally unlocking nearly 2 million AT&T phones. According to a report from the US Department of Justice, the man named Muhammad Fahd did this for 7 years even when he learned that there was an investigation into him.
At Fahd’s trial, Judge Robert S. Lasnik said, “His behavior is a terrible cybercrime for a long time”, leading to more than $ 200 million in damages to AT&T.
Since 2012, Fahd has been in contact with an AT&T employee through Facebook and bribed him to help unlock customers’ phones for “a substantial amount of money”. This allows Fahd customers to get out of their AT&T contract and pay no monthly fees.
Fahd then advised him to get more of his colleagues at the call centers in Bothell, Washington to join the model. Fahd instructed AT&T employees to set up fake companies and bank accounts to receive money from customers, and created fake invoices to pretend the payment was made for legitimate services.
In 2013, AT&T implemented a new unlocking system based on the phone’s unique IMEI number, making Fahd’s operation more difficult. However, he later hired a developer to design a piece of malware to install on AT&T’s computer system. This malware helps Fahd unlock the phone more effectively when it can be unlocked remotely. Furthermore, his associates at AT&T helped Fahd gain access to the systems and unlocking methods and credentials of other AT&T employees. The above developer used this information to make his malware more accurate.
From 2012 until his 2018 arrest in Hong Kong, Fahd and his associates unlocked more than 1.9 million AT&T phones. After being extradited to the US in 2019, in September 2020, Fahd pleaded guilty to electronic fraud.
Refer to Engadget
Source : Genk