Mining crypto

Australian Government Contractor Sentenced for Mining Crypto on Supercomputer

In short

  • Jonathan Khoo, a former Australian government contractor, used research supercomputers to mine crypto in 2018.
  • Khoo was sentenced to 300 hours of community service but could have faced up to 10 years in prison.
  • Khoo caused an A$76,000 loss in productivity for less than A$10,000 in mining profits.

A former contractor for an Australian government research agency was convicted of using supercomputers to mine cryptocurrency in 2018. He avoided maximum sentences of 10 years in prison; the court instead imposed 300 hours of community service on him.

Jonathan Khoo, a 34-year-old man from the North Shore of Sydney, Australia, was convicted on Friday of using valuable computer resources from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization to mine Ethereum and Monero, a cryptocurrency confidentiality oriented.

According to a australian federal police release (AFP) Mining at Khoo in January 2018 brought in an estimated A$9,400 ($6,850) while costing CSIRO at least A$76,000 ($55,400) due to lost productivity and a bad configuration.

AFP Cybercrime Operations Commander Chris Goldsmid said in the AFP statement that Khoo “diverted these supercomputer resources from carrying out important scientific research for the country, including the analysis of Pulsar data, medical research and climate modeling work to measure the impacts of climate change on the environment.”

Khoo pleaded guilty to charges of unauthorized modification of data to cause harm in Downing Center Local Court in February 2020.

The charges carried a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, but Khoo’s relatively light sentence of 300 hours of community service is in part due to Khoo’s remorse and cooperation with law enforcement. following a search of his home in March 2018, according to a report by it’s news.

“The consequences are clear – this was a breach of the trust of Australian taxpayers by a Commonwealth employee, motivated by personal gain and greed,” Goldsmid said.

Presiding Magistrate Erin Kennedy noted the importance of having a government research organization targeted by a rogue contractor, implying that greater harm could have been done to public resources if Khoo or another actor had more intentions. malicious, according to it’s news.

Khoo’s mining activities lasted just over a month, and mining yieldsless than $10,000 AUD ($7,000 USD) in totalhardly worth the penalties. Considering his 300 hours of community service, Khoo’s crypto mining journey earned him the equivalent hourly wage of $23.

The best of Decrypt straight to your inbox.

Get the best stories curated daily, weekly highlights and deep dives straight to your inbox.