Grant West, a 26-year-old with the moniker ‘Courvoisier‘, who is known for his cyber-attacks on some big companies in Britain is in line for a possible jail sentence, after admitting to a succession of hacking offenses. Grant, and his girlfriend, Rachel Brookes, used phishing emails to carry out hacks on companies including Uber, Just Eat, Sainsbury, T-Mobile, Coral, Ladbrokes and many others.
West illegally obtained digital information as well as personal information including credit card details of over thousands of customers. He stole and sold the information on the dark web. He reportedly cost one of his victims, Just Eat, £210,000 in mitigation costs after he conned about 165,000 of its customers into giving out their personal details. This was after laying hands on their emails and then mastered an illegal feedback survey from the Just Eats’ app.
His fraud operation came to an end after Action Fraud issued a referral stating that Just Eats ‘customers had complained about a phishing email. These emails were disguised to be a survey which was going to give each customer a £10 voucher to spend on the website.
He was however arrested by the police in August last year when he was traveling first class on a train.
A red laptop was retrieved from a shelf above him, together with £500,000 worth of bitcoin, along with £25,000 in cash, marking the first time criminal property in cryptocurrency was seized by the Met Police. The police later revealed that Grant had obtained private information of 78 million people and also over 60,000 credit and debit card credentials was found on an SD card.
£25,000 worth of cannabis was again discovered by police after they raided his property. As if that wasn’t enough, West even tried selling cannabis on the dark web while he was on bail, waiting for his trial for his fraudulent actions against Just Eat.
According to reports, West kept his earnings in Bitcoin, which he traveled globally with. He lived a very expensive lifestyle, including driving a £40,000 Audi A5 coupe and occasional gambling trips to Las Vegas.
West, a Kent native conducted his illegal dealings from a caravan park and made nearly 47,000 sales of stolen data and information on the dark web, according to a two-year investigation by the police. He also successfully hacked the websites of over 100 companies globally and once tried to infiltrate the systems of Truly Experiences Ltd, a move which was however unsuccessful.
West pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud, four charges linked to possession and supply of cannabis, one charge of computer hacking, one count of money laundering bitcoins and two counts of possessing criminal property. He is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.
His North Wales girlfriend Brookes, also pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of computer material, after confessing to using West’s personal computer in at least one of the cyber-attacks. She was set free on May 4th with a two-year community order coupled with curfew by the Southwark Crown Court.
West’s first run-in with the law came in May when he was arrested and later released on bail after the police failed to find or connect him to any illegal activity. He quickly returned to his old ways, committing cybercrimes until he was again arrested in September when his house was searched by the police, this time around, uncovering cannabis which incriminated him, and compelling him to admit to all his crimes.
Additional investigations revealed that West had shops on various dark web marketplaces as well as a known identity. Aside from his dealings in stolen computer credentials, credit, and debit card details, it emerged that he was also selling illegal drugs and mailed packages to his customers. He also laundered a very large quantity of Bitcoin from January to September 2017. It was also believed that West had targeted another 500 companies to hit before being arrested.
He had previously entered a not guilty plea for defrauding Just Eat in May, which led to prosecutors, bringing drug charges into the picture. He later pleaded guilty to all charges against him, related to fraud, money laundering, and drug possession.