The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has charged a government employee alleged to have misused government IT infrastructure for personal cryptomining operations, per a press release.
In the release, the AFP states that the unnamed 33-year-old man is an IT contractor with the Australian government, who took advantage of his access to “manipulate programs to use the processing power of the agency’s computer network for cryptocurrency mining.”
For his effort, the report claims he earned AU$9,000 (around $6,200) from the mining operation.
He was subsequently charged for the unauthorized modification of restricted data and the unauthorized modification of data to cause impairment. The charges mentioned carry a maximum sentence of 2 years and 10 years, respectively.
Speaking on the matter, Acting Commander Chris Goldsmid, manager of cybercrime operations, said the civil servant in question will be prosecuted for his actions.
“Australian taxpayers put their trust in public officials to perform vital roles for our community with the utmost integrity,” Goldsmid said, per the release. “Any alleged criminal conduct which betrays this trust for personal gain will be investigated and prosecuted.”
Earlier this year, Matthew McDermott, an IT manager for the Florida Department of Citrus (FDoC), was arrested for using the department’s computers to mine cryptocurrencies. According to the report, McDermott used his employer’s computers to mine various digital assets, particularly bitcoin and litecoin. His actions were said to have cost the State Department about $825 in additional utility bills from October 2017 to January 2018.
Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system.