The cryptocurrency market has witnessed several events in its short history for people to sit up and take notice. As the number of developments and updates has increased within the industry, so has the number of people tapping it for nefarious activities.
According to recent reports from down under, a 34-year old Sydney resident has been sentenced to prison for utilizing the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s computer systems to mine cryptocurrencies. The illegal activity was undertaken by a single individual whose hearing took place just last week.
The unnamed culprit used the facilities to divert power from government-sanctioned projects for his own selfish needs. Sources close to the investigation revealed that the facility and the projects accumulated losses over $76,000 because of the recent activities. Australian Federal Police Cybercrime Operations stated that the culprit was first hired as a contractor back in January 2018. This gave him access to sensitive servers and a treasure trove of information.
During his tenure at the CSIRO, the culprit accessed servers and supercomputers to mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin worth $9,400. This was precious time and resources that were meant to be used for coming up with solutions for issues of national importance. Speaking about the arrest, AFP Commander Cybercrime Operations Chris Goldsmid stated:
“The AFP commends the prompt actions of CSIRO in identifying this criminal conduct and swiftly reporting it for investigation. This man’s activities diverted these supercomputer resources away from performing significant scientific research for the nation, including Pulsar Data Array Analysis, medical research and climate modeling work to measure impacts to the environment from climate change. The consequences are clear – this was a misuse of Australian taxpayers’ trust by a Commonwealth employee, motivated by personal gain and greed.”
Once the AFP got wind of the illegal activities, the body procured search warrants for the culprit’s place of residence. From there, the AFP discovered items such as laptops and mobile phones used to conduct the crime. As soon as sufficient evidence was collected, the culprit was charged with offenses related to the Commonwealth. The case took on its next step when the 34-year old ex-contractor pleaded guilty in February of this year. He was charged with 15 months in prison last Friday which also includes 300 hours of community service.