Cryptocurrency mining is quite a profitable endeavor if one has the right resources available at the right costs. However, mining cryptocurrency on other people’s systems is completely illegal but quite profitable for the one doing it. As such, an employee at an Italian airport was recently accused of utilizing the computer systems at his disposal to mine Ethereum.
According to a report from Italian media outlet Rai News, the accused was employed at an airport located in the Italian city of Lamezia Terme. He allegedly put mining malware into the airport’s computer systems.
He also set up mining rigs in two “technical rooms”, and took advantage of the airport’s backend systems as a part of this process. He was caught by authorities after they saw him via security cam footage.
The technical framework for the airports is overseen by Technical services provided by Sacal Global Solution, the 41-year-old airport employee allegedly tapped into the service provider’s system to install the mining malware.
The report adds that this action put the airport’s backend computer systems at risk. The report reads:
“The investigators, with the collaboration of the airport authorities, analyzed the partitions of the IT network inside the hub, discovering the presence, in two different technical rooms, of a real ‘mining farm’ […] connected to the external Internet network through systems dedicated to the management of airport services and powered by the airport’s electricity supply.”
“The investigations, coordinated by the Lamezia Terme Public Prosecutor’s Office, were conducted with technical activities that made it possible to examine the IP addresses associated with the machines installed, to identify the site of the ‘Ethermine’ pool (used for ‘mining’ of the Ethereum cryptocurrency) and monitor the site.”
Illegal Crypto mining plaguing the Industry
In another case, a Sydney man was arrested and charged by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for mining cryptocurrency on computers of a federal governmental agency.
The year prior to that, two Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) staff were investigated and caught over allegations they were using the bureau’s equipment to mine cryptocurrency.
This is quite a common problem popularly referred to as Cryptojacking, and can also be executed remotely if the culprit manages to gain access to the system.
Earlier this year, multiple supercomputers were remotely hacked and infected with cryptojacking malware to mine cryptocurrency on them.
The problem is quite severe; a report from Ars Technica revealed that ‘Fifty five percent’ of businesses worldwide were affected by cryptocurrency mining malware during the last bull run in 2018.