Crypto investor Michael Terpin has written an open letter to Federal Communication Fee (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai requesting pressing motion on SIM swapping fraud.
Terpin, a sufferer of SIM swapping himself, requested the regulator to make cell carriers conceal buyer passwords from workers and to present a “no port” choice, whereby clients would have to undergo an organization’s fraud division earlier than transferring their SIM info to a brand new telephone.
In a SIM swap, criminals pose because the homeowners of a sufferer’s cell phone quantity, convincing telecom suppliers to grant them entry to the SIM card. The identical form of hack affected Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in September.
In August 2018, Terpin sued AT&T alleging that AT&T workers had been complicit in a SIM swap fraud that noticed hackers steal $24 million in cryptocurrency. In July, a Los Angeles federal choose dominated that AT&T should reply Terpin’s lawsuit, which additionally alleges a violation of the Federal Communications Act, a breach of contract and different authorized violations. Terpin is in search of $23.eight million in compensatory damages in addition to $200 million in punitive damages.
The court docket has granted Terpin the correct to attempt each a declare of breach of contract and a violation of the Federal Communication Act in court docket. Now, the case is shifting slowly as AT&T is submitting extra motions to dismiss on the damages he’s requesting, pushing Terpin to additional show that he misplaced cryptocurrency within the hack and that the service is chargeable for his financial losses.
Within the letter to the FCC, revealed solely to CoinDesk, Terpin mentioned greater than 50 people have reached out to him saying they have been additionally victims of SIM swapping hacks, with hundreds of thousands in further losses. Terpin implored Pai to examine SIM swapping with the identical rigor that the FCC went after robocalling.
Terpin instructed CoinDesk that every one of these people have been from the crypto group.
“I’m sick and uninterested in this taking place whereas AT&T denies it,” Terpin mentioned. “There’s no way forward for a billion individuals on blockchain with out the telephone firms fixing this.”
Terpin’s advised treatments would imply telecom workers couldn’t see passwords and shoppers would have to enter them themselves. A “no port” choice would imply that a consumer would have to undergo a telecomm’s fraud division in the event that they wished to switch their SIM info with out their outdated telephone current.
Terpin says FCC’s Pai has made robocalling “a high precedence” when he “doesn’t know anybody shedding hundreds of thousands from robocalling.”
He hopes to meet with the FCC chairman quickly to make his case. “I hope this doesn’t occur to future generations of individuals occupied with cryptocurrency and blockchain or that they’re afraid to get in as a result of they assume they are going to be hacked,” he added.
An Open Letter to Ajit Pai by CoinDesk on Scribd
Picture of Michael Terpin, farthest on the left, from CoinDesk archives.