Wireless insiders charged in phone-access scam

SIM card. Photo: Paul Zinken/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Department of Justice filed charges against a Verizon employee and 2 employees of stores selling AT&T service for using their access to hijack customer accounts.

Why it matters: Especially in the AT&T case where the accused were employees of a contractor and not AT&T itself, the cases raise questions about companies' ability to control employee behavior when the workers are able to steal data or funds from a customer.

Background: The scam, known as SIM-swapping, involves hackers breaking into victim's cellphone accounts to reset passwords on other accounts.

  • From there, the hijackers can reset passwords on email, bank and other accounts that allow a phone number to serve as a form of identification.

Details: The 3 employees charged join 6 people who were indicted last week, all connected to a SIM-swapping ring.

  • Those charges came a day before bitcoin investor Michael Terpin won $75 million in a lawsuit against a SIM-swapping criminal who stole millions from his cryptocurrency wallets.
  • Axios Codebook profiled Terpin in September as he launched lawsuits against AT&T for allowing employees and contractors to transfer accounts without following security procedures advertised to customers.

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House passes historic $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The House passed the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill on Friday via a voice vote. President Trump said he plans to sign the bill into law later today.

Why it matters: What happens in Washington is often lost on the rest of the country. But this rescue package is the largest in American history, has the attention of leaders on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue and matters to Americans back home.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 566,269 — Total deaths: 25,423 — Total recoveries: 127,768.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 p.m. ET: 92,932 — Total deaths: 1,380 — Total recoveries: 812.
  3. Federal government latest: Trump blasts Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) after a report that the congressman could delay passage of Congress' $2 trillion stimulus.
  4. State updates: Second wave of cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, see increases and could become hot spots.
  5. Tech latest: Google will give $800 million in cash and ads, the largest donation by a tech company, to help stem spread of coronavirus.
  6. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Google donates $800 million in cash and ads to fight coronavirus

Photo: Google

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced Friday that his company is donating more than $800 million in cash and advertising to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus and ease the impact on small businesses.

Why it matters: It would appear to be the largest donation yet from a tech giant. The ad credits also could help keep business flowing through Google's ad system amid what is expected to be a sharp downturn in advertising.