Case Against AT&T After SIM Swap Attack Costs User $560,000 in Crypto


American telecom giant AT&T is being sued after one of its customers was allegedly scammed out of cryptocurrency in a SIM swap attack. Jamarquis Etheridge, a Texas, US-based man sued AT&T after he lost cryptocurrency tokens worth $560,000 (roughly Rs. 4 crores) from an account linked to his phone number. As per reports, Etheridge fell prey to a SIM Swap attack in which scammers dig out the numbers of potential victims and get them changed by network operators. After losing his Ether (ETH) tokens, Etheridge decided to take legal action against AT&T, questioning its user security provisions and demanding compensation.

As per a report by news portal, the complainant has alleged that AT&T was aware of the threat involving these SIM swapping attacks. In the police report filed on 15 September, Etheridge claimed that the network operator had been posting warnings against such attacks but did not do anything to tighten security against such breaches.

Hackers managed to make an unauthorized entry into Etheridge’s wireless account on September 10. By the time AT&T processed the attack, the hacker(s) stole ETH 159.8 tokens from the number-linked account.

As is typical in such attacks, the notorious actor(s) may have found Etheridge’s phone number and convinced the network provider, in this case AT&T to issue and activate a new SIM. Later, the hacker(s) must have extracted the linked financial information with the new number.

Etheridge has demanded that AT&T must compensate him for the theft, the report said.

In December 2020, hardware wallet player Ledger servers witnessed a spike in SIM swap threats. Personal financial data of several users were leaked around that time and the victims remain uncompensated.

AT&T itself, has frequently been a victim of SIM swapping attacks. Between 2018 and 2019, three AT&T users collectively lost over $26 million after their crypto assets were stolen in similar SIM swapping attacks.

Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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