Seth Shapiro, a California resident who claims to have lost a massive $1.8 million worth of Bitcoin and altcoins through a SIM swapping attack in May 2018, has filed a lawsuit against AT&T. Shapiro claims the telecoms operator made it possible for hackers to gain control of his AT&T wireless phone number, using it to reset his passwords on crypto exchanges, reports AbcNews, October 24, 2019.
AT&T, a leading American multinational telecoms operator and conglomerate holding company has been dragged to court by a customer who claims to had lost his entire life savings in cryptos due to a SIM swapping attack.
For those who are unaware, a SIM swapping attack allows bad actors to take over the mobile device of a person by exploiting some security loopholes like two-factor authentication and two-step verification.
According to the victim, the AT&T employee allowed the rogue actors to easily swap his phone number to another mobile device controlled by them, allowing them to access his highly sensitive personal and financial information.
Specifically, Shapiro claims the SIM swap made it possible for attackers to steal a total of more than $1.8 million from his cryptocurrency accounts on various exchanges including Coinbase, Huobi, Cryptopia, and others.
Life Savings Gone
Shapiro says the unfortunate incident has affected his family and personal life adversely, as they weren’t able to buy the dream home they had been planning to purchase and his wife had to go back to her day job to make ends meet.
“We were kind of getting ready to slow down a little bit now it has been 17 months of anxiety, depression and horror.”
Shapiro also accused AT&T of complacency and lack of watertight security measures.
“If you go into a bank and they have you enter your passcode, that’s kind of the analogy that AT&T uses. Imagine if the teller as soon as you left can use your passcode and take cash out and they can’t be held accountable. A&T gives this responsibility to their lowest level of employees,”
Interestingly, AT&T has hinted that they dispute all allegations laid against them by Shapiro, adding that they are ready to slug it out with the victim in court.
In related news, earlier in April 2019, U.S. authorities sentenced Joel Ortiz to 10 years in prison for orchestrating a SIm swap attack, stealing more than $7.5 million from 40 victims.