UK Authorities seize $700,000 in Bitcoin from Hacker
Grant West, British hacker who was nabbed by London authorities last year, has been convicted of all the cybercrime charges against him. $700,000 worth of Bitcoin was seized from West at the time of his arrestment.
Cybercrime had always been a very serious issue for authorities as the criminals behind such illegal activities carry out their plans in the dark. The issue has gotten even worse now with the involvement of cryptocurrencies. Hackers, sitting safely behind their keyboards, are laundering loads of money using digital currencies. Its like anonymity meets anonymity hence, doubling the damage.
Most of the time these bad actors succeed in getting away with their theft prizes but their luck doesn’t work every time.
Grand West, 26, who had been involved in theft of millions of people’s personal data, was arrested by Scotland Yard while traveling between London and Wales on train, last year. The arrestment was a result of a two-year long investigation led by Mick Gallagher.
A British court said on Wednesday that West will be sentenced on May 25, 2018.
This is Scotland Yard’s first ever successful prosecution of cybercrime. The conviction counts as a tremendous success not only for Scotland Yard but for law enforcement worldwide.
“These people generally feel they can operate with impunity, that they can’t be touched. We have now debunked that,” said Gallagher. According to authorities, West is responsible for cyber attacks on more than 100 companies including, Groupon, Uber, Coral Betting, T Mobile, the British Cardiovascular Society, Argos, Mighty Deals Limited and Finnish Bitcoin
The authorities also found and seized $700,000 worth of Bitcoin from West’s computer.
West’s sentence will surely be very harsh if the sentences of prior cybercriminals are taken into consideration. For instance, Ross Ulbricht, the brain behind Silk Road, the very first online marketplace for the sale of drugs, was sentenced to life in jail by the US Federal Court.
Two federal agents involved in the Silk Road investigation were also charged of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Both the agents were sentenced to less than 10 years behind bars.
The U.S government issued these severe punishments just to set an example for other governments when dealing with cybercrime cases.
In light of the severity of West’s crimes, the British courts may likely follow the example set by the U.S government.