High School Hacker to Pay $22 Million in AT&T Case


Twenty-year-old hacker Ellis Pinsky to pay $22 million to victim of his scheme, crypto investor Michael Terpin, Coindesk wrote.

Pinsky had been dubbed “Baby Al Capone” by the New York Post, because he was 15, a 10th grader in suburban New York at the time of the hack. Pinsky confirmed his involvement in the hack later in a court filing signed by himself and Terpin.

After that, the remaining claims against Pinsky will be dismissed, except for the claim under New York State law for conversion.

The hack happened in 2018, involving a SIM card swap scheme targeting AT&T, and resulted in Terpin losing $24 million in cryptocurrency.

SIM card swapping refers to a kind of hack where two-factor authentication is bypassed by mobile operators, to break into sensitive websites such as crypto exchanges and online banking.

Additionally, Terpin’s attorney, Tim Toohey, said he hoped AT&T would take responsibility for the security flaws that caused the breach. In 2020, a judge dismissed a claim for punitive damages against AT&T from Terpin, and the court said the claim could be stayed after it was discovered.

The case is expected to continue in May 2023.

PYMNTS wrote about the case in 2019 when Terpin was awarded $75.8 million in a court document relating to the scheme, this time following a civil judgment against another suspect, Nicholas Truglia.

Read more: US Crypto Investor Receives $75 Million Fraud Lawsuit

Truglia, according to reports, was part of the scheme to steal his crypto after gaining access to his cell phone. Court documents asked Truglia to pay the money to Terpin as compensatory and punitive damages, according to reports, it was one of the largest payments involving cryptocurrency and an individual.

The case also showed the number of ongoing crypto scams and schemes that have come even more into the spotlight after the pandemic forced much of everyday life and finance in general to go digital. , causing an overall increase in hacks.

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