- A CSIRO contractor used work computers to mine Monero and Ethereum.
- The contractor generated close to $10,000.
- He has been sentenced to a 15-month intensive correction today.
A former CSIRO IT contractor has been sentenced to over one-year intensive correction order after he recently pleaded guilty to cryptocurrency mining charges brought against him last year. Reports noted that the CSIRO IT contractor generated close to $10,000 by using the organization’s supercomputer to mine digital currencies like Monero (XMR) and Ethereum (ETH).
CSIRO IT contractor mined cryptos with work computers
As ITNews reported, the contractor named Jonathan Khoo was sentenced on Friday at Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court. Last year, Khoo reportedly installed and ran 2903 command scripts that enabled him to hijack and secretly mine the digital currencies using Claymore Dual Miner software and two other high-performance computers (HPC) at the organization.
The illegal cryptocurrency mining didn’t cause any direct damage to the organization’s operations at the time. However, the performance of the supercomputers was affected dramatically according to Magistrate Erin Kennedy. This is agreeable since cryptocurrency mining usually requires high-computational power. The cost of the reduced performance of these computers was summed to $76,668 (both for the software and hardware).
Meanwhile, Khoo was only able to mine $9,422 worth of Ethereum and Monero from the illegal activity which lasted for about one month.
Immediately after his arrest in May 2019, the CSIRO IT contractor admitted to his crime. In addition to unauthorizedly modifying CSIRO’s computer systems to access the processing power, Khoo was charged for “unauthorized modification of data to cause impairment and unauthorized modification of restricted data.”
CSIRO IT contractor escaped imprisonment
For the actions, Khoo was sentenced to a 15-month intensive correction. Additionally, he will be spending about 300 hours in community service. Cryptocurrency mining can be leveraged as a legitimate business, however, it becomes illegal when computational power, electricity, and some other essential requirements are stolen to run the activity. Recently, Cryptopolitan reported the confiscation of 4,000 crypto mining hardware in China, which were all operated with stolen electricity.