The US federal government accused the Pakistani citizen of bribing AT&T telecoms employees for five years to help unlock more than 2 million phones and inject malware into the company’s network.
He was sentenced to 12 years in prison for what the judge called “a horrific cybercrime over a long period of time,” which allegedly continued even after authorities learned of the crime scheme. The indictment says that because of this, the company lost about $ 5 million annually.
According to a US Department of Justice press release, in 2012, Mohammad Fahd, a Pakistani citizen, contacted an AT&T employee via Facebook and offered him a “substantial amount of money” for helping secretly unlock AT&T phones, freeing customers from any installment payments and AT&T services.
In this way, Fahd bribed employees to install malware that collected confidential information and sent requests to unlock smartphones using the credentials of existing employees of the company through a remote server. In addition, Fahd tried to establish new contacts through already bribed employees. The statement said that one AT&T employee received bribes totaling $ 428,500 over five years.
The mobile operator became suspicious when an unusually high number of phone unlocking operations were discovered at a call center in Botella. The investigation showed that in total, the participants in the fraudulent scheme illegally unlocked 1,900,033 phones.
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