Grant West, a notorious U.K. cybercriminal, has admitted to a series of serious charges including fraud, hacking and selling drugs through the dark web.
The 25-year-old hacker is alleged to have breached a series of websites belonging to 17 companies. He then allegedly sold customers’ stolen credentials through the dark web.
According to the prosecutor, West traded the personal details of 160,000 customers of food ordering service Just Eat.
In the recent past, black hat hackers like West have instigated several major data breaches around the world.
This is not an excluded case where unsuspecting users have found their credentials being sold online through the dark web in exchange for Bitcoins.
More illicit trading forums and vendor shops are emerging on the Tor-based dark web, where encryption is regarded to be top notch.
West is said to have hacked the websites of 17 companies which include Uber, Coral Betting, Groupon, Nectar, T-Mobile and many others.
According to investigators, these are companies that have a large number of users and compromising their systems would allow a large volume of data to reach the wrong hands.
It is alleged that West launched a brute force attack, a trial-and-error technique of obtaining usernames, passwords and identification numbers.
West’s brute force attack is said to have been enabled by a software program known as Sentry MBA.
His hack led to the loss of thousands of usernames and passwords belonging to the customers of the said companies.
West run a dark web-based shop which he referred to as the Courvoisier. It is said that his profile was used to sell drugs like cannabis to his customer base.
He would then distribute the drugs through the mail.
Ultimately, West accepted all the allegations filed against him in front of the judge. This will probably see he hacker imprisoned for the next few years.
According to the police officers who arrested West, he was a mastermind in most criminal acts. On his arrest at his residence, West was found with over $20,000 in cash plus additional funds in Bitcoins.
Most vendors operating on dark web markets and forums prefer using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum in making transactions with customers.
The anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies allows dark web vendors to conduct their business with minimal traces to their identity.
The judge who was hearing West’s proceedings was told that his online shop sold not only personal credentials but also drugs. After the evidence was presented, West pleaded guilty to possessing and supplying Class B drugs to his customers.
Being a notorious hacker, West also pleaded guilty to compromising data and other vital information from the companies involved in the case.
According to the police, West had not gained any financial gain from the data he obtained.
West will remain in the custody of the police until his sentencing is fully decided later this year.