Category Archives: smartphones

AT&T Employees Took Bribes to Unlock Smartphones

This wasn't a small operation:

A Pakistani man bribed AT&T call-center employees to install malware and unauthorized hardware as part of a scheme to fraudulently unlock cell phones, according to the US Department of Justice. Muhammad Fahd, 34, was extradited from Hong Kong to the US on Friday and is being detained pending trial.

An indictment alleges that "Fahd recruited and paid AT&T insiders to use their computer credentials and access to disable AT&T's proprietary locking software that prevented ineligible phones from being removed from AT&T's network," a DOJ announcement yesterday said. "The scheme resulted in millions of phones being removed from AT&T service and/or payment plans, costing the company millions of dollars. Fahd allegedly paid the insiders hundreds of thousands of dollarsĀ­ -- paying one co-conspirator $428,500 over the five-year scheme."

In all, AT&T insiders received more than $1 million in bribes from Fahd and his co-conspirators, who fraudulently unlocked more than 2 million cell phones, the government alleged. Three former AT&T customer service reps from a call center in Bothell, Washington, already pleaded guilty and agreed to pay the money back to AT&T.

FaceApp privacy panic: Be careful which apps you use

The privacy panic over FaceApp, the selfie-editing mobile app that makes photo subjects younger, older or turns them into members of the opposite sex, has been overblown. The (overblown) issue FaceApp is an iOS and Android app developed by Russian company Wireless Lab and is not without past controversy (e.g., lightening skin color to make users “hot”). In this latest bout of massive popularity, the app makers were “accused” of siphoning pictures from users’ mobile … More

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