AT&T Sues Former Employees Over Stolen Unlock Codes

Posted by at 10:20 am on September 18, 2015

AT&T LogoAT&T this week sued three former workers, alleging they aided in the theft of cell phone unlock codes. Kyra Evans, Nguyen Lam, and Marc Sapatin, who all worked at AT&T’s Bothell, Wash., site, are accused of installing malware on AT&T computers that was used to obtain hundreds of thousands of unlock codes.

The codes were then given to a company called SwiftUnlocks.com, which sold the unlock codes for $10 to $50 to consumers wishing to unlock their handsets. AT&T also filed suit against SwiftUnlocks.com and its proprietors, as well as 50 John Doe defendants AT&T believes played a role in developing the malware.

Wireless carriers are required by law to unlock handsets, but only once those handsets have been paid for in full and are no longer under contract. Unlocking handsets allows them to be used on the networks of competing carriers.

AT&T is suing the defendants for unspecified damages related to financial losses incurred while investigating the matter and losses generated by failing to recoup handset subsidies, as well as for harming/infecting AT&T computers and internal systems, and damaging AT&T’s reputation.

AT&T discovered the scheme in 2013 following an unusual spike in unlock requests tied to the defendants’ logins.

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