An Australian government employee was in court in May over his alleged misuse of government IT resources to mine cryptocurrency for personal profit.
As reported by Cointelegraph, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said the 33-year-old man whose name was not disclosed, used his access as an IT contractor to “manipulate programs” in order to exploit the processing power of the agency’s computer network for the purposes of cryptocurrency mining.
Alleged profits from his illegal mining activities were reportedly as high as AU$9,000 (~US$6,000).
The suspect’s appearance before the Sydney Local Court followed an AFP operation searching his residency in Sydney on March 5, during which officers seized his personal laptop, phone, employee identification cards, and data files.
He faces two charges, namely unauthorized modification of data to cause impairment, contrary to Section 477.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995; and unauthorized modification of restricted data, contrary to Section 478.1 of the same act
The charges carry a maximum sentence of ten and two years, respectively.
The Manager of Cybercrime operations, Acting Commander Chris Goldsmid, released a statement underscoring the gravity of the alleged offense, saying Australian taxpayers put their trust in public officials to perform vital roles with “the utmost integrity,” adding that any alleged criminal conduct which betrays that trust for personal will be investigated and prosecuted.
Over the past year, law enforcement agencies in Germany, China and Taiwan have previously taken action against suspects accused of stealing electricity from public providers to mine cryptocurrencies for personal gain.
In May 2018, employees at a local police headquarters in Ukraine were allegedly mining crypto for up to four months.
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