A Happy Ending, Hacker Ordered to Pay £922,978 in Damages

Very seldom do we get to hear some good news about a hacker.  Grant West has been caught, is in jail, and now is ordered to return the money he stole.

A hacker in the UK who carried out numerous phishing and ransomware attacks has been ordered to pay damages to the companies he attacked.

Grant West, a hacker currently jailed in England, targeted many well-known companies like Uber, T-Mobile, Argos, and Groupon from March 2015 until he was arrested in September 2017. He obtained financial data of tens of thousands of users over that period, and completed more than 47,000 sales from a fake online store. The hacker also sold cannabis on the dark web as well as guides for others to carry out cyber-attacks.

West carried out the attacks on a laptop that belonged to his girlfriend, and used the computer to store personal data of more than 100,000 people. Investigators also recovered an SD card that contained 78 million usernames and passwords, and 63,000 credit and debit card details.

A single phishing email sent in 2015 appeared to be a survey for a British online food ordering service netted West £180,000, which was quickly converted to Bitcoin. When West was arrested in September of 2017, his cryptocurrency accounts were seized by authorities. In May of 2018 he was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years and 4 months of jail time.

Friday, UK courts ordered the £922,978 in cryptocurrency seized would be sold and go back to the companies who were attacked. If West refused the confiscation order, he would serve another 4 years in jail.

Companies and, recently, city governments often have no choice but to pay criminals like West for access to their data that has been encrypted.  Quanexus can help you take steps to protect your business and customer data from attacks like these.

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Posted by Charles Wright