UK police have seized over £920,000 ($1.1 million) worth of Bitcoin from a convicted hacker, which they plan to sell and compensate past victims.
The hacker, named Grant West, was arrested back in September 2017, and he pleaded guilty three months later in December. Earlier this year, a UK court sentenced West to 10 years and eight months in prison for multiple hacking and drug-related crimes.
West brute-forced user accounts
Authorities said West used a tool called Sentry MBR to launch brute-force attacks against 17 companies, where he gained access to user accounts, which he later hijacked and resold on the dark web to other criminals.
London police said the list of victims included some high profile names such as Uber, Groupon, T Mobile, Just Eat, Asda, and Sainsburys; but also the likes of Ladbrokes, Argos, Nectar, AO.com, Coral Betting, Vitality, RS Feva Class Association 2017, the British Cardiovascular Society, Mighty Deals Limited, and M R Porter.
Authorities said West, who used the moniker of “Courvoisier,” started trading stolen accounts on the dark web in March 2015, and made more than 47,000 sales before his arrest.
He also sold cannabis, along with hacking tutorials.
West didn’t want to give up his Bitcoin
West did all of this using his girlfriend’s laptop. After his arrest, UK police said they found “fullz” (a term short for “full credentials” and used to describe email, username, and password combos) for more than 100,000 people on this laptop.
They also found an SD card storing 78 million individual usernames and passwords, as well as 63,000 credit and debit card details.
He was arrested in the Ashcroft Caravan Park in Minster on the Isle of Sheppey following a years-long investigation authorities codenamed “Operation Draba.” After his arrest and subsequent search of his trailer, authorities said they found £25,000 ($30,000), the drugs he was selling online, but also “a significant amount of bitcoins.”
Now, Met Police have disclosed the Bitcoin sum they found, along with plans to use it to compensate victims.
Initially, West didn’t want to give up his Bitcoin. However, the judge told him he’d spend an additional four years in prison if he didn’t, according to a report from The Guardian.