US investor sues AT&T for $224 million over loss of cryptocurrency

Michael Terpin

Michael Terpin

A bitcoin investor is suing AT&T for $240m after it allegedly ported his phone number to a hacker, allowing the criminal to steal $24m in cryptocurrency. The damages sought include the $24 million Terpin lost and $200 million in punitive damages which, as the complaint notes, "might attract the attention of AT&T's senior management long enough to spend serious money on an acceptable customer protection program and measures to ensure that its own employees are not complicit in theft and fraud".

Terpin says hackers were twice able to convince AT&T to connect his phone number to a SIM card they controlled, routing his calls and messages to them and enabling them to defeat two-factor authentication protections on his accounts.

That six-digit extra security step was introduced after Terpin says his account had been targeted - and hacked - six months earlier through the same approach. That being the case, it's not terribly surprising that a prominent crypto investor who lost almost $24 million in stolen tokens is suing AT&T for a whopping $224 million.

The precise details of the storage of Terpin's tokens are not now known.

The second hack came even after AT&T agreed to put an additional passcode on his account, when a fraudster visited an AT&T store in CT and managed to hijack Terpin's account without providing the code or a "scannable ID" as AT&T requires, he says. By the time he regained access, $23.8m in bitcoin had gone missing, he claims.

Vaping Is Bad For The Immune System, Says Study
That's because every aspect of the devices and the fluids used in them has been changing at a rapid pace, he said. The study also found that the cells that were exposed to vaped condensate were far less able to engulf bacteria.

The court documents claim the company's employees "actively cooperate with hackers in SIM swap frauds by giving hackers direct access to customer". Fraud can occur when a provider is tricked into transferring a victim's phone number to a SIM card that is run by a hacker, who can use access to the phone number to reset passwords and log in to the victim's online accounts.

The big legal question of course is whether AT&T is then liable for what is done with that access.

The insane part is that all of the above happened 5 months before the $24 million theft took place.

After all, a hacker would still have required Terpin's username and password to access a secure cryptocurrency wallet.

Last week, security journalist Brian Krebs reported that a 25-year-old Florida man was arrested for being part of a multistate SIM swap scam ring, using the technique to steal bank accounts. The lengthy claims for relief rely heavily on California business law and contractual arguments - which is rarely a good sign when going up against a huge corporation. Terpin claims that after the initial breach, he was promised "the highest level of security for his account".

Recommended News

  • For wetter or worse: Philippine bride defies storm

    For wetter or worse: Philippine bride defies storm

    Residents wash chairs next to a submerged vehicle after flashfloods brought by continuous monsoon rains in Marikina, Metro Manila. A statue is seen submerged along a flooded street next to a river bank, after continuous monsoon rains in Marikina, Metro Manila.
    FDA issues voluntary recall of thyroid tablets

    FDA issues voluntary recall of thyroid tablets

    The voluntary recall includes lots of Levothyroxine and Liothyronine in 15 mg, 30 mg, 60 mg, 90 mg and 120 mg tablets. Substandard cGMP practices could represent the possibility of risk being introduced into the manufacturing process.
    Danny Cipriani arrested after night club incident in Jersey, charged with assault

    Danny Cipriani arrested after night club incident in Jersey, charged with assault

    Cipriani moved from Wasps to Gloucester past year and had recently managed to get himself back into the English global picture. Gloucester are now in Jersey as part of a pre-season tour, with Cipriani joining the team over the summer from Wasps.
  • Court rejects appeal for American pastor's release from detention, Turkish media says

    Court rejects appeal for American pastor's release from detention, Turkish media says

    Qatar said it would provide "a host of economic projects, investments and deposits" worth $15 billion to support Turkey's economy. President Donald Trump authorised the implementation of higher tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from Turkey last Friday.
    Earth`s oldest known evolved rocks result of collision of asteroids

    Earth`s oldest known evolved rocks result of collision of asteroids

    If this was to be done, researchers note that about 900°C temperature was needed this points to "a drastic event", they say. The term "felsic" combines the words "feldspar" and "silica", while the word "mafic" combines "magnesium" and "ferric".
    Tencent shares slide after Monster Hunter

    Tencent shares slide after Monster Hunter

    No guarantee on the continued operation of the game has been promised and Tencent is offering refunds to affected customers. However, it has yet to receive a licence that would allow it to monetise the updated game.
  • Justin McMillan to transfer from LSU

    Justin McMillan to transfer from LSU

    Per usual media availability, players nor coach Ed Orgeron were available to speak after practice. McMillan, who graduated earlier this month, will be eligible to play immediately wherever he goes.
    Omarosa says she's 'not trolling' with White House recordings

    Omarosa says she's 'not trolling' with White House recordings

    Like, how would they have that relationship for so long and he just keeps bringing her back... Kushner and Ivanka tape, the source said, would show that they offered emotional support.
    Mnangagwa says disputed Zimbabwe election 'behind us'

    Mnangagwa says disputed Zimbabwe election 'behind us'

    A full bench of nine judges‚ led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba‚ is expected to make a decision on the court challenge. A lawyer representing Chamisa said he could not comment because he had not yet been served with Mnangagwa's papers.
  • ‘Enough forex reserves to meet volatile rupee’

    ‘Enough forex reserves to meet volatile rupee’

    Some currency experts are even predicting that the rupee would slide to 80 per dollar, or Rs21.8 per dirham in the coming months. Trade deficit soared to a almost five-year high of $18 billion, data released by the commerce ministry on Tuesday showed.
    Warnings over Genoa bridge collapse made since 2012

    Warnings over Genoa bridge collapse made since 2012

    But there had been warnings for years that the Morandi Bridge was an accident waiting to happen. He said the bridge was an "engineering failure" an an interview with broadcaster Primocanale.
    'Hard Knocks' reveals Corey Coleman asked for trade

    'Hard Knocks' reveals Corey Coleman asked for trade

    Garrett, the poet: Myles Garrett revealed a different side of himself when he discussed his love of poetry. Corey Coleman has seen enough practice time that he will playing in Cleveland.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.