A 33-year-old Australian government employee has been charged after he was caught mining cryptocurrency at work.
In a media release Tuesday, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) alleged that the IT contractor from the Sydney suburb of Killara had modified government computer systems to mine cryptocurrency worth over AU$9,000 (US$6,184) for his own gain.
The unnamed man will attend a local court today over two charges – unauthorized modification of data to cause impairment and unauthorized modification of restricted data – under the country’s Criminal Code Act, according to the AFP.
Last year, AFP police officers seized a laptop, phone, employee ID cards and data files in a raid conducted at the contractor's home.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and two years imprisonment, respectively.
Chris Goldsmid, AFP acting commander and manager of cybercrime operations, described the alleged crime as “very serious,” explaining:
The news marks just the latest instance of employees who have got in hot water for mining cryptos at work.
To cite just a few, in 2017, a former employee of the Federal Reserve Board of Directors was also fined $5,000 and put on probation after being caught mining bitcoins on a server owned by the U.S. central bank.
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