The notorious hacker who amassed a small wealth stealing cryptocurrencies, Grant West, was arrested in 2017 by undercover agents. At the spot of arrest, security cameras revealed passengers cheering at the scene of the arrest of yet another little criminal. Finally, a real triumph in the digital age.
Personal Data Sold on the Dark Web
Though several criminals are being blocked and captured regularly, Grant’s arrest was a remarkable one for Scotland Yard. The 25-year-old cyberpunk was apprehended, and the London Metropolitan Police seized about $700,000 worth of bitcoin in the process.
In a statement Mick Gallagher, a police investigator who led the secret operation that lasted for two years, said:
“These people generally feel they can operate with impunity, that they can’t be touched. We have now debunked that.”
At the hearing of Grant at a British court on May 2, 2018, it was said that the young man would be sentenced come May 25. Meanwhile, Rachel Brookes, his girlfriend who acted as his accomplice, has been ordered by the court to carry out two years community service.
West, whose pseudonym was “Courvoisier” on the dark web, pleaded guilty to some of the cyber attacks in December 2017. Investigations showed he had initiated over 100 attacks on various companies ranging from gambling shops, to supermarkets, and cell phone companies between July and December 2015 alone.
Wow, #Courvoisier was 25 year old Grant West who lived in a caravan park in Kent. For those who don’t know; he was notorious on the #DarkWeb and was responsible for selling Uber, Netflix, BA etc accounts, credit card details, drugs and full fraud packs. https://t.co/i0p60CXY0f
— Mike Hacks (@mikeghacks) December 15, 2017
His technique was simple; he used phishing emails to get personal information from unsuspecting members of the public. West then traded this private information for cryptocurrencies on the dark web and stored the digital wealth in private wallets.
Cryptocurrencies Not that Safe for Criminals
Fortunately, the police were able to arrest West while he was on his PC with his Bitcoin accounts logged into.
Though the sum seized from Grant was modest, this arrest was another complicated mission for law enforcement agents as tracking virtual currencies especially, stolen or illicit funds, is still quite a new task.
It was easy spotting illegal criminal activities in the past, but investigators still find it extremely difficult to determine the parties associated with such transactions.
The United States and Britain have in recent times battled best ways to regulate bitcoin and other alternative cryptocurrencies. Though digital currencies are new but remarkable inventions, their quest to ultimately take over, entirely replacing current modes of making financial transactions, is still far from being achieved.
Is cryptocurrency’s anonymity feature its drawback or plus point? Share your views in the comments section.