Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Two IT staff who work for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology are being investigated over allegations they illegally used the bureau’s supercomputers to mine cryptocurrencies.
Police question Bureau of Meteorology staff over cryptocurrency operation
By Dylan Welch
Updated Thu at 1:39pm
Two Bureau of Meteorology employees are being investigated by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for allegedly running an elaborate operation involving the use of the bureau’s powerful computers to “mine” cryptocurrencies, ABC News has learned.
Federal police officers executed a search warrant at the bureau’s Collins Street headquarters in Melbourne on Wednesday last week (February 28). The officers spoke to two IT employees, according to people with knowledge of the raid.
The rest of the bureau’s IT team was ushered into a conference room and told to wait while the employees were questioned, the people said.
At least one of the employees who was questioned by the AFP has since gone on leave. No charges have been laid but the investigation is continuing.
Details are currently a bit sparse.
Theft of work resources to mine cryptocurrencies is a significant issue. Cases have ranged from people quietly plugging in cryptocurrency mining rigs, to admin staff installing screen savers which mine cryptocurrencies when users are away from their desk.
Update (EW): Fixed a typo in the first paragraph (h/t schitzree)