An English cyber-criminal who carried out targeted computer attacks on more than 100 firms from his UK base has been forced to pay back a stolen cryptocurrency haul worth £922.978.14, news reports reveal.
Argos, Uber and Sainsbury’s were among the victims of Mr Grant West, who was jailed for fraud for an elaborate hacking spree which duped company insiders into exposing huge swathes of confidential data.
West’s prolific activity was discovered through “Operation Draba”, a British police investigation into cyber-crime, which found West operating on the dark web under the name “Courvoisier”.
The court heard how West, who hails from Sheerness in Kent, in south-west England used phishing emails to steal the financial information of tens of thousands of customers.
The fraudster would then sell on this personal data on various platforms on the dark web, and convert profits into cryptocurrency which were then stored in a series of different accounts.
The judgement was handed down and the confiscation order issued at Southwark Crown Court recently. In May, the court gave West a jail sentence of 10 years and 8 months.
Police authorities at the heart of West’s case unearthed evidence to prove he was at the root of cyber-attacks on the webpages of 17 large firms.
Upon his arrest, officials seized around £1m in cryptocurrency from accounts in his possession. After factoring in currency variables, the haul’s total was calculated to be around £992,978.14. The sum will now be sold and compensation will be delivered to the victims.
Besides selling financial information, West also boosted his cyber-coffers through the sale of cannabis which he shipped out to customers around the world. He did a side-line in “how to” guides, giving wannabe hackers insight into how to carry out cyber-crime.
The Englishman used stolen payment card data to buy personal items, such as food, shopping and domestic goods; he also used stolen money to go on holiday.
West confessed to defraud, possession of criminal property, various drug offences, and unauthorised modification of computer material.
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