Man Sues AT&T, Saying He Lost $1.8 Million In Cryptocurrency With SIM Card Hack

A California man is suing AT&T after he says one of its employees allowed a hacker to access his cell phone number that resulted in his data being compromised and more than $1.8 million in cryptocurrency stolen from his accounts. ABC News reports: Seth Shapiro says that an AT&T employee allowed a hacker to swap his phone number from his phone to a separate device, which resulted in “the compromise of highly sensitive personal and financial information and the theft of more than $1.8 million,” according to court documents. The process of so-called “SIM swapping” allows hackers a way to gain access to all the information tied to a phone number potentially giving them access to every email, photo, app and more on the phone.

The complaint filed on Oct. 17 claims that while third parties had control over his AT&T wireless number, “they used that control to access and reset the passwords for Mr. Shapiro’s accounts on cryptocurrency exchange platforms, including KuCoin, Bittrex, Wax, Coinbase, Huobi, Crytopia, LiveCoin, HitBTC, Coss.io, Liqui, and Bitfinex.” The digital currency “was accessed by the hackers utilizing their control over Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless number,” the court documents added. The lawsuit alleges that hackers were able to access “accounts on various cryptocurrency exchange platforms, including the accounts he controlled on behalf of his business venture. The hackers then transferred Mr. Shapiro’s currency from Mr. Shapiro’s accounts into accounts that they controlled.” “In all, they stole more than $1.8 million from Mr. Shapiro in the two consecutive SIM swap attacks on May 16, 2018,” the complaint added. AT&T told ABC News in a statement that they dispute the Shapiro’s allegations and shared information on how customers can help keep themselves safe from SIM swaps.

“We dispute these allegations and look forward to presenting our case in court,” the statement said. “Customers can learn how to help protect themselves from this scam by going here — https://about.att.com/sites/cyberaware/ni/blog/sim_swap.”


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