A man has now been sentenced to 12 years in prison by a U.S. District Court after illegally unlocking 1.9 million AT&T phones over the span of seven years, causing the telecoms company to lose upwards of $200 million USD.
According to reports, a Pakistan and Grenada citizen by the name of Muhammed Fahd first began his operations in 2012 when he reached out to an AT&T employee via Facebook, bribing them to unlock his customers’ phones with “significant sums of money.” At the time, he also asked the bribed employee to recruit his colleagues as a call center in Washington to join the scheme.
In 2013, AT&T increased security measures and made it more difficult for employees to unlock IMEIs. Not letting this stop him, Fahd recruited an engineer who helped him build malware that was then installed on AT&T’s systems allowing for easier unlocks that can be done even remotely. Despite his operation attracting a staggering amount of business, he was ultimately arrested in 2018 in Hong Kong after an indictment in 2017. Following extradition to the U.S., he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud back in September last year.
Elsewhere in tech, Chinese TikTok owner ByteDance has now implemented a 40-minute-per-day limit on Douyin users below the age of 14.
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