AT&T is facing a $224 million lawsuit from a U.S. investor accusing the telecom giant of negligence that he claims led to a loss of roughly $24 million in cryptocurrency.
The “digital identity theft” occurred through his cellphone account with AT&T as his service provider, Terpin said, claiming he was the victim of two hacks.
Following the initial hack, Terpin alleged that an imposter gained his phone number through an “insider [at AT&T] cooperating with the hacker”, granting them the means to divert personal information including telephone calls and text messages.
“After the hackers took charge of Mr. Terpin’s telephone number, the hackers accessed Mr. Terpin’s telephone to divert texts and telephone calls to gain access to Mr. Terpin’s cryptocurrency accounts, the complaint reads. “The hackers also used the phone to hijack Mr. Terpin’s Skype account to impersonate him. By that means, the hackers convinced a client of Mr. Terpin to send them cryptocurrency and diverted a payment due to Mr. Terpin to themselves. AT&T finally cut off access by the hackers to Mr. Terpin’s telephone number on June 11, 2017, but only after the hackers had stolen substantial funds from Mr. Terpin.”
In his complaint, Terpin explains how the hacker(s) managed to seize control of his phone number without requiring any form of identification to ultimately gain access to his cryptocurrency holdings and siphon them altogether.
Terpin is notably a co-founder of BitAngels, an angel group and digital currency fund for bitcoin investors. He is seeking $200 million in punitive damages and $24 million in compensatory damages from the telecom giant.
The complete complaint can be found here.
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