25-Year-Old Cybercriminal Arrested In London With $700,000 In Bitcoin
Cybercrime has always been Bitcoin’s and other Cryptocurrencies’ Achilles Heels when it comes to the mainstream perception of them. Since the inception of Bitcoin, it has been a safe haven of illegal activities, with criminal operations like Silk Road being powered by Bitcoin transactions. Many cybercriminals have been using Bitcoin to launder money, as exemplified by the news that broke in London this Wednesday.
Grant West, 25, and his girlfriend Rachael Brookes, 26, attempted to capture Just East customers' credentials by sending an email masquerading as a Just Eat incentivized branded survey email. The phishing scam was conducted using details obtained from third-parties, which the defendant and Mr. West used to send out ‘phishing’ emails to Just Eat customers and non-customers offering ten-pound rewards for completing a survey.
West was responsible for carrying out similar “brute force” attacks against firms including Sainsbury's, Groupon, Uber, T-Mobile and Argos between August and September 2016 while on bail for the Just Eat scam. The scam set Just Eat back around £210,000 in mitigation costs. Going by the name of “Courvoisier” West used this information to make a fortune on the dark Web, selling the data to exploitative scammers. In December of 2017, West pleaded guilty to numerous cyber attacks – authorities have stated West is responsible for cyber attacks on over 100 companies.
Investigators were able to confiscate West's Bitcoin accounts because he was logged onto his laptop when he was arrested on the train. Police also took his laptop and found his encrypted access codes were saved on the computer. Over $700,000 in BTC was found in several wallets held on his laptop.
Mick Gallagher led a two-year surreptitious investigation which resulted in the arrest of West. On Wednesday, a British court said that West would be sentenced on May 25. His girlfriend and partner in crime s awarded 2 years of community service.
When it comes to transactions on the Dark Web, people universally use cryptocurrency as the use of virtual currencies has been a huge success. Even though criminals use Bitcoin for illegal transactions on the dark web to conduct decentralized, anonymous and instantaneous transactions, it still is not the most preferred or safe option. The most foolproof way to do an illicit transaction to this remains Cash.