British “Bitcoin” Hacker Jailed And Sentenced To More That 10 Years In Prison

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A computer hacker in the UK was sentenced to 10 years and 8 months on charges of selling 63,000 stolen credit card and debit card information through a dark network. In this case, the police seized Bitcoin worth more than 600,000 U.S. dollars.

26-year old Grant West, a computer hacker from Kent, United Kingdom, stole about 165,000 personal data through a phishing scheme. The prosecution stated that he profited over £180,000 (approximately 240,000 U.S. dollars) from the scam and converted the proceeds into Bitcoin, which would then be stored in multiple accounts.

Grant West would send emails pretending to be from Just Eat, an online food order and delivery service, to extract credit and debit card details from his victims. After he pleaded guilty, he was sentenced to 10 years and 8 months of imprisonment for conspiracy to commit fraud, misuse of computers and drug trafficking.

Masquerading as Just Eat, Grant West offered a voucher in return for answering questions between July 2015 and December 2015. The phishing scam cost the firm over £200,000 (approximately 267,000 U.S. dollars), but there is no evidence their servers were hacked by West, according to the prosecution. Other high profile hack victims include British Airways, Barclays, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Uber, Argos, Coral.

The police seized £25,000 (about 33,000 U.S. dollars) in cash and 500,000 pounds (about 666,000 U.S. dollars) in Bitcoin. Judge Michael Gledhill said £1.6 million (approximately 2.3 million U.S. dollars) worth of cryptocurrency is unaccounted for.

“When such inadequate security is confronted with a criminal of your skills and ambition it is totally unfit for purpose and worthless. This case should be a wake-up call to customers, companies and the computer industry to the very real threat of cybercrime.”

Because Bitcoin is considered a safe means of value storage, it is also being watched by more and more criminals. In March 2018, Ukrainian-Russian cross-border criminal gangs allegedly laundered Bitcoin after stealing 1 billion euros from a bank in Spain; in Malaysia, 9 criminals were arrested for stealing Bitcoin mining equipment (at least 58 machine was stolen). The first Bitcoin robbery in Taiwan took place in February 2018, involving the theft of Bitcoin worth NT$5 million (approximately 170,000 U.S. dollars).

Once the hacker had a set of customer details, he would then sell them on Alpha Bay, an online dark web market 10-times larger than Silk Road which was taken down by the authorities in July 2017.

Marko Vidrih


Image via Pixabay


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