AT&T employees bribed to hack the system: DOJ

A 34-year-old Pakistani national has been extradited from Hong Kong to the U.S. for bribing AT&T employees over $1 million to hack millions of company phones and servers over the span of 5 years, according to an indictment from the Department of Justice Monday.

In a hack that cost AT&T millions, Muhammad Fahd and his accomplice Ghulam Jiwani are accused of bribing the telecom’s staff at a call center in Boswell, Washington $420,000 to unlock phones and break contracts with the company.

The DOJ also alleges Fahd paid employees to install malware and fraudulent spying hardware on company computers and phony Wi-Fi access points, according to a Forbes report. The conspirators gained access to the telecom systems and learned its internal processes.

The defendant would allegedly approach AT&T employees using front companies, according to the DOJ report. He would then contact employees by phone or Facebook message and after coercing them into participation, he would instruct them to open front businesses for payment.

Forbes reported that Fahd was arrested in Hong Kong on February 4, 2018, but only sent to the U.S. on August 2, 2019 and he faces up to 20 years in jail. The bribed employees have already pleaded guilty to accepting compensation.


The DOJ reports that Jiwani is dead, but while he assisted in the scheme he aggregated IMEI numbers and paid out the bribes in the U.S. and Dubai.

AT&T spokesman Jim Greer stated, “We have been working closely with law enforcement since this scheme was uncovered to bring these criminals to justice and are pleased with these developments.”

He added that this scheme began several years ago to to illegally unlock wireless telephones and he noted “It did not involve any improper access or compromise of customer information, [nor] did it affect our customers.”