AT&T has filed a lawsuit against past employees for installing malware on the company's networks to unlock their devices in an illegal manner. AT&T claims that the former customer support personnel used the malware to deceptively process hundreds of thousands of unlock requests via the AT&T network.

According to the complaint, malware was installed into the carrier's network which exploited “Torch”, a web portal that allows authenticated users to troubleshoot devices and send unlock requests on behalf of AT&T clientele.  A rise of unlock requests were linked to the former employees and their credentials that occurred “within milliseconds of one another”.

An investigation revealed that malware existed on the former staff members' computers. The malware accepted commands from a remote server to be communicated to Torch and used its credentials for authentication.

“Through this conduct, the Unlock Scheme caused substantial damage to AT&T's protected computer systems and effectively stole AT&T's subsidy investment in its phones,” the complaint reads. AT&T alleges the scheme resulted in “significant losses,” not only financially but in reputation as well. They are accusing the former employees of network violations, breach of duty and loyalty, business interference and unjust enrichment, demanding a trial by jury.