AT&T Sued by Customer After Security Breach Led to Theft of Cryptocurrency

Jamarquis Etheridge is an AT&T customer who filed a lawsuit against AT&T Inc. on Wednesday.

Etheridge is a Texas resident and has been an AT&T customer since 2009. Etheridge claims to have been a victim of SIM swapping, also known as SIM hijacking. SIM swapping is a well-known scam that AT&T is not unfamiliar with. This scam was a larger case that involved the company and crypto investor Michael Terpin.

Richard E. Brown, Etheridge’s attorney, filed a court document stating that AT&T “allowed wrongdoers access plaintiff Etheridge’s wireless account and without his authorization” on or around Sept. 10, 2020.

AT&T could not contain the security breach until the following day, which allowed wrongdoers access plaintiff Etheridge’s cryptocurrency exchange account.

He also claims that AT&T knew of the widespread harm SIM swapping could cause, as it had previously issued public advisories to warn customers about the danger of this scam.

Etheridge stated that AT&T had assured its customers that it was taking adequate precautions to prevent unauthorised SIM swapping. The court document states:

AT&T uses practices that… fail provide reasonable and adequate security to prevent unauthorized entry to its customer wireless accounts. This allows unauthorized persons to authenticate and then be granted access to sensitive customer wireless data, which includes control over 159.8 Ethereum tokens.

According to court documents, the price for ether increased to more than $4,200 per coin after the incident. The price of ETH was $3,338 at the time of this writing.

Plaintiff claims that AT&T’s actions and inactions caused him to suffer and continue to suffer actual damages. These include loss of 159.8 and ETH, lost of time, embarrassment, humiliation, aggravation, frustration, fear, anxiety and financial uncertainty.

He seeks ‘compensatory, equitable relief restoring his’ to 159.8 . He also seeks treble damages, punitive damage, attorney fees, reimbursement of all costs, pre- and post-judgment interest, and any other relief that the court considers appropriate.