A former Australian government contractor has avoided jail time after he was caught using state-owned supercomputers to mine cryptocurrency.
According to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald, a former CSIRO employee has been accused of using government supercomputers to mine cryptocurrency and in the process depriving “sensitive science projects” of processing power.
The employee, Jonathan Khoo, worked as a contractor for the Australian government’s science research agency between January and February 2018. The report claims that Koo installed code on two supercomputers that allowed him to harness the power processing to mine crypto-assets for personal financial gain. .
Khoo, 34, generated over $9,400 worth of cryptocurrency, which he deposited in Ethereum and Monero wallets. CSIRO estimates that the diversion of supercomputers for mining cost the agency $76,668 in computing power and other resources.
Federal Police Cybercrime Operations Commander Chris Goldsmid said Khoo’s conduct breached public trust in the government.
This man’s activities diverted these supercomputer resources from performing scientific research important to the nation, including pulsar data network analysis, medical research, and climate modeling work.
Khoo, a Sydney resident, was sentenced to a 15-month intensive restraining order including 300 hours of community service and counselling.
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