In a world full of cybercrime, there are one-man shows too. The perfect proof for this is something that happened in UK’s capital recently. Described by the judge as a “one man cybercrime wave”, a British hacker named Grant West has had accumulated than £500,000 through stealing and sealing personal and financial information on the dark web.
It all began for West when he started sending phishing emails under the guise of surveys from popular takeaway food delivery service Just Eat. At the time, the phishing emails offered food vouchers in exchange for completing a survey. Obviously, the survey was fake and made respondents send their personal details back to Grant so that he could sell them to the dark black market.
These phishing scams netted West more than £180,000 which he converted to Bitcoin. According to BBC, the scam cost the Just Eat company more than £200,000 or $265,000. West’s efforts were targeted over other companies including major firms such as Uber, British Airways, Asda, Ladbrokes etc. His intention was to hack as many customers as possible.
According to reports, West used the money to buy a new Audi worth £40,000 and invested in several trips to Las Vegas among his other luxuries. He was arrested in 2017 on a first-class train to London where detectives from Scotland Yard spotted him while he was logged into the computer.
West went by the username Courvoisier on the dark web, selling stolen information and drugs on the site (now defunct) Alpha Bay. The London police accessed and seized more than £500,000 or $667,000 worth of Bitcoin from West’s girlfriend’s device. She was also sentenced to community service.
However, as the judge says, more than £1.6 million worth of West’s cryptocurrency is still unaccounted for.
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