Prolific computer hacker jailed for 10 years

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A prolific computer hacker has been jailed for 10 years and eight months for stealing financial data and passwords belonging to tens of thousands of people in order to sell the information on the dark web.
 
Grant West, 26, sent “phishing” emails, designed to look as if they came from legitimate businesses, to target customers of more than 100 companies including Sainsbury’s, Just Eat, Ladbrokes, and Argos.

He also sold cannabis and ‘how to guides’ of potential use to other hackers and fraudsters.
 
He was jailed today (Wednesday, May 25) at Southwark Crown Court after admitting offences including money laundering and conspiracy to defraud at a hearing on 14 December 2017.
 
West’s girlfriend Rachael Brookes, 26, was sentenced earlier this month to a community order after admitting one offence of unauthorised access to computer data.
 
Sarah Jennings, of the CPS, said: “This prosecution was able to prove that Grant West was the prolific cyber hacker known as Courvoisier. West was caught by police conducting attacks on company websites.

“He sold the lists of financial information to make money and even used stolen credit card details to pay for holidays, food and shopping.
 
“In the end, West had no alternative but to plead guilty due to the overwhelming evidence.”

Notes to editors

  • Sarah Jennings is a Specialist Prosecutor in the London Crown Prosecution Service Complex Casework Unit.
  • Brookes (DOB: 22/02/1992) of Denbigh, North Wales, admitted unauthorised access to computer data at Southwark Crown Court on 7 March.
  • West (DOB: 15/02/1992) of Ashcroft Caravan Park, Plough Road, Eastchurch in Kent admitted:
    • Conspiracy to defraud: between 1 July 2015 and 8 December 2015 conspired together with other persons unknown to defraud Just Eat and customers of Just Eat by obtaining data about Just Eat customers and using that data to facilitate fraudulent transactions whether directly or indirectly following transmission of the data to others.
    • Conspiracy to defraud: between  1 January 2015 and 30 September 2017 conspired together with other persons unknown to defraud such corporations, companies, partnerships, firms and persons as might sell their products or services to online customers, by obtaining, using and supplying data known as “Fullz”.
    • Unauthorised modification of computer material, contrary to section 3(1) of the computer misuse act 1990. between the 25 August 2017 and the 30 September 2017 did acts, namely “brute force” attacks using Sentry MBA upon the websites of Sainsburys, Nectar, Groupon, AO.com, Ladbrokes, Coral betting, Uber, Vitality, RS Feva Class Association 2017, Asda, the British Cardiovascular Society, Mighty Deals Limited, Truly Experiences Ltd, T mobile, M R Porter, the Finnish Bitcoin exchange and Argos, which caused unauthorised modification of the contents of a computer and, at the time of doing the said act, he knew that such modification was unauthorised and intended to cause such modification and by so doing to impair the operation of a program or the reliability of data held in a computer.
    • Attempting to supply a controlled drug of class B to another, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Attempts Act 1981. On 21 March 2017 attempted to lawfully supply a controlled drug of Class B, namely cannabis, to another in contravention of section 4(1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
    • Offering to supply a controlled drug of class B to another, contrary to section 4(3)(a) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. On divers days between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2017 offered to supply a quantity of cannabis, a controlled drug of Class B, to another in contravention of section 4(1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
    • Possessing a controlled drug of class B, contrary to section 5(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. On 16 August 2017 had in his possession 123.05 grams of cannabis and cannabis resin, a controlled drug of Class B.
    • Possessing a controlled drug of class B with intent, contrary to section 5(3) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. On or before 30 September 2017 had in his possession 181.56 grams of cannabis and cannabis resin, a controlled drug of Class B with intent to supply it to another in contravention of section 4(1) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.
    • Possessing criminal property, contrary to section 329(1)(c) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. On 16 August 2017 possessed criminal property namely £3,980 in money knowing or suspecting it to constitute a person's benefit from criminal conduct.
    • Possessing criminal property, contrary to section 329(1)(c) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. On or before 30 September 2017 possessed criminal property namely approximately £21,388.67 in money knowing or suspecting it to constitute a person's benefit from criminal conduct.
    • Concealing, disguising, converting, transferring and removing criminal property from England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, contrary to section 327(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Between the 1 January 2015 and 30 September 2017 concealed, disguised, converted, transferred and removed criminal property from England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland namely a quantity of Bitcoins knowing or suspecting it to represent in whole or part and whether directly or indirectly, the proceeds of criminal conduct.

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