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Grant West: Hacker ordered to pay back almost £1m in cryptocurrency

A hacker who carried out cyber attacks on dozens of firms including Sainsbury’s and Uber while living at a caravan park in Kent has been ordered to pay back more than £900,000 in cryptocurrency he had stashed away.

Grant West has been ordered to pay back £922,978.14 after police confiscated his stolen funds following a two-year investigation dubbed Operation Draba.

The 27-year-old, of Ashford Caravan Park in Sheerness, operated on the dark web under the moniker of Courvoisier and carried out attacks on dozens of firms – mainly using phishing emails to secure the financial details of tens of thousands of customers, before selling them on different illegal marketplaces.

Image: A phishing email that Grant West sent to Just Eat customers

All of the profit he made was converted into cryptocurrency and stored in multiple accounts.

West was jailed for 10 years and eight months last May after being arrested in September 2017, with officers identifying him as the head of an organised crime network that mainly targeted London-based organisations.


Among the companies he stole customer details from were Argos, Nectar, Ladbrokes, Coral Betting, Uber and Groupon, plus the supermarkets Asda and Sainsbury’s, and health group the British Cardiovascular Society.

He started trading on the dark web in March 2015 and completed more than 47,000 sales from a fake online store, and also sold cannabis and guides on how others could carry out cyber attacks.

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Between July and December 2015, he carried out a phishing scam by masquerading as online takeaway firm Just Eat to try and obtain the personal details of 165,000 people.

He failed to secure any financial information, but his actions cost Just Eat around £200,000.

West carried out his attacks using a laptop belonging to his girlfriend, Rachael Brookes, and used the computer to store details on more than 100,000 people.

Police also found an SD card at his address that contained 78 million usernames and passwords, and 63,000 credit and debit card details, some of which he would use to pay for treats for himself – including holidays.

In addition to the cryptocurrency, which has its current value of £922,978.14 due to market fluctuations, police also recovered £25,000 in cash and half a kilogram of cannabis from storage units rented by West across Kent.

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West was ordered to repay the digital money at Southwark Crown Court on Friday under the Proceeds Of Crime Act.

His jail sentence had been handed down after he pleaded guilty to 10 charges, including two counts of conspiracy to defraud and two counts of possession of criminal property.

The cryptocurrency will be sold and the victims will receive compensation.


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