An Australian government employee has become the latest individual caught mining crypto on his work’s dollar. The 33-year old IT contractor appeared in a Sydney court Tuesday to answer charges that he had modified his agency’s computer systems to mine cryptocurrency for personal gain, a pattern that has been repeated all over the world in recent years. His enterprise is only said to have earned him around AU$9,000 ($6,000) before his arrest, raising the question of whether the risk was worth the reward.
Another One Bites the Dust
The disgraced worker faces charges of unauthorized modification of data to cause impairment and unauthorized modification of restricted data, which carry ten-year and two-year penalties respectively, meaning that he could pay a very big price for his indiscretions indeed. However, his actions are nothing compared to more famous cases of illegal crypto mining, including the Russian nuclear scientists who tried to use a supercomputer to mine Bitcoin, the Chinese headmaster who kitted unused classrooms out with mining rigs which literally roared when being operated, and the Federal Reserve communications analyst who mined crypto on the Fed’s servers.
Leave Mining to the Miners
Mining cryptocurrency requires massive amounts of energy in order to make it profitable, and it is usually this factor that leads to illicit miners being caught – huge spikes in energy only go unnoticed until the next bill comes in. Even if a requisite energy source is found, there are two other elements of crypto mining that amateur miners don’t often consider. Air flow is crucial to stop mining equipment overheating, which means having fresh cool air coming in and the generated warm air being removed. As you can imagine this is not a simple operation, but some will try and get round it by simply opening windows. However, aside from the lack of natural air flow, this means the noise that is generated by multiple ASIC and GPU miners running at full pelt is let out for the whole world to hear. To keep their activities discreet, some chancers try CPU mining, but this is the least productive mining method and requires months of continual usage to create a profit, even when using ‘free’ electricity. In short, mining at work doesn’t work and usually ends up with you risking your career for a few grand, if that, which you’ll have to give up anyway. Just stick to staking or masternodes.