BitAngels founder sues AT&T over crypto wallet hack
Telecommunications behemoth AT&T is going to have to answer to questions regarding a hack of a cryptocurrency wallet that resulted in one of its customers losing over $24 million. Michael Terpin, founder of crypto angel investment group BitAngels, is suing the company, saying that it "willingly" cooperated with hackers who were able to compromise his security and gain access to the wallets.
In the 69-page lawsuit, Terpin asserts that an employee from the company facilitated his personal details, including a phone number, to a hacker. Armed with the information, the hacker was able to pose as Terpin to gain access to the phone twice over a seven-month period and steal the crypto. He said in the suit, "What AT&T did was like a hotel giving a thief with a fake ID a room key and a key to the room safe to steal jewelry in the safe from the rightful owner."
According to the complaint, "AT&T does not improve its protections even though it knows from numerous incidents that some of its employees actively cooperate with hackers in SIM swap frauds by giving hackers direct access to customer information and by overriding AT&T's security procedures. In recent incidents, law enforcement has even confirmed that AT&T employees profited from working directly with cyber terrorists and thieves in SIM swap frauds."
AT&T has previously come under fire for SIM swap frauds," whereby an individual is able to gain access to a cell phone by mirroring a SIM card number. The Division of Consumer Protection in New York has issued a <a href="https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/scams/att-sim.html">warrning</a> over an AT&T SIM-Card switch scam and a man was arrested in Florida last month on charges of running a "multi-state cyber fraud ring" that was able to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in cryptocurrencies using SIM card numbers mirrored from AT&T customers.
The angel investor is looking for AT&T to pay back the $24 million in crypto he lost, as well as make an additional payment of $200 million in punitive damages. In typical corporate boilerplate parlance, AT&T has denied the allegations and said that it was looking forward to its day in court.