12 years in prison for man who bribed AT&T employees to install malware

12 years in prison for man who bribed AT&T employees to install malware

A Pakistani man who managed to remove the SIM locks from nearly two million telephones for seven years, including through malware on systems of telecom provider AT&T, has been sentenced in the United States to twelve years in prison.


The man started his practice in 2012 by recruiting AT&T employees at a call center in Washington. He had them remove the SIM locks from a large number of telephones. The phones could thus be resold and used by other telecom providers, which the Pakistani man earned.


In 2013, AT&T implemented a new system that made it more difficult for bribed employees to remove the SIM locks. The Pakistani man then had a software developer develop malware that could be installed on AT&T systems and that would allow him to remotely remove the SIM locks from phones more effectively and in greater numbers.


To develop this malware, the man had bribed AT&T employees install other malware on the telecom provider's systems, collecting information that the software developer used to develop its malware. An AT&T investigation found that the Pakistani man and his accomplices unlocked more than 1.9 million phones over seven years. As a result, the telecom provider would have lost more than $ 201 million in revenue because customers no longer paid the remaining amount for their phone.

AT&T offers customers plans that include telephone. By removing the SIM lock, the phone can also be used on other telecom networks and the owner no longer has to pay AT&T for the purchase of the phone, according to the US Department of Justice. The judge also ordered the man to pay AT&T $200 million in damages.


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