Police in Melbourne, Australia are currently investigating two Bureau of Meteorology employees who have been suspected of mining cryptocurrency on their work computers back in February. In the past month two similar cases made headlines. Engineers at Russia’s nuclear center were arrested for mining on the center’s supercomputers and two state workers in California have recently been sentenced for doing the same on government computers back in 2016.
It’s been reported that the police brought the two IT workers into their Docklands headquarters for questions. Furthermore, a spokesman with the Australian federal police stated that a search warrant was conducted on the government agency on February 28th, although seeing that the investigation is ongoing, he was unable to go into further details.
Mining for cryptocurrency is in no way illegal, but it requires high powered computers and consumes an enormous amount of energy. The intricate process of mining involves the solving of complex equations. Once the equation is solved, cryptocurrency is rewarded. The longer you mine, the more electricity and power you’ll need, as the equations continuously become more difficult and longer.
Given the massive amount of energy that’s used to mine cryptocurrency, many people are questioning how workers at the agency could run a mining operations and go unnoticed. The Bureau of Meteorology has yet to comment on the matter.
When it comes to the Bureau of Meteorology, this isn’t the first time that the government agency has seen a breach in their security. In 2016 it was uncovered by the government’s cyber security center that the Bureau of Meteorology’s systems have been breached by foreign spies. They lost a massive quantity of documents during the attack. Last month it was revealed that the Bureau of Meteorology’s website was running ads that led to fake news websites that promoted bitcoin scams.
That said, it looks like the bureau needs to better manage their security procedures or it won’t be long until they go through another scandal.