Pakistani Man Bribed AT&T employees to Plant Malware and Unlock 2 Million Phones
Pakistani Man Bribed AT&T employees to Plant Malware and Unlock 2 Million Phones. United States federal government has charged a Pakistani national for bribing staff at AT&T telecommunication company over an amount of 5 years to assist unlock more than 2 million phones and plant malware on the company’s network.
A thirty-four years old man from Pakistan named Muhammad Fahad was arrested in Hong Kong last year in February at the request of the United States government and simply extradited to the U.S. on Friday, August 2, 2019.
Muhammad Fahad recruited and paid AT&T insiders functioning at a call center in Bothell, Washington, over $1 million in bribes between 2012 and 2017 to help them unlock cell phones related to specified IMEI numbers that otherwise weren’t eligible to be removed from AT&T’s network.
Telecommunication Companies, like Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, sell flagship phones at reasonable prices, however, these mobile comes with locked SIMs that won’t users from shift their network service for the other telecommunication service.
Fahad and his co-conspirator Ghulam Jiwani who is partners in crime at AT&T were run a successful business where he charged several users in return to unlock their devices, enabling them to use a SIM card of the other carrier, domestically or internationally.
Fahad paid a bribe to AT&T staff for putting in malware on the company’s internal systems at the “Bothell call center” so they to gather confidential and proprietary information on how AT&T works and how AT&T’s network and software applications perform.
Fahad was able to automatically process unauthorized unlock requests for any mobile phone from an overseas location. using that malware and credentials of his co-conspirator at AT&T.
“So far, 3 of these co-conspirators have admitted that they were paid thousands of dollars for facilitating Fahad’s fraud scheme.”
Later when Fahad wasn’t able to remotely control its malware, he again bribed AT&T staff to put in computer hardware devices, together with wireless access points, that helped him gain access to AT&T internal network and continue unlocking phones remotely.
In total, Fahad paid over $1 million in bribe to AT&T staff, with one worker receiving $428,500 over the five-year scheme, which they receive within their bank accounts or business banking accounts in the name of shell companies created for receiving payments.
Fahad contacted the AT&T staff over the phone, Facebook, or alternative communication channels and instructed them to get prepaid cell phones and anonymous email accounts to communicate with him.
Fahad is charged with a total of fourteen counts, which include one count for committing wire fraud, one to violate the Travel Act and the laptop Fraud and Abuse Act, four counts of wire fraud, 2 counts of accessing a protected laptop in furtherance of fraud, 2 counts of intentional damage to a protected laptop, and 4 counts of violating the Travel Act.
“Fahad’s thought he might safely run his bribery and hacking scheme from overseas, making a lot of dollars by bribing the employees, but it was not long-lasting.
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