Sydney man sentenced for unlawful cryptocurrency mining using CSIRO supercomputers

A 34-year-old man from Sydney’s North Shore has been sentenced for using the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) servers and supercomputers to carry out cryptocurrency mining.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) Cybercrime Operations launched an investigation after CSIRO detected a serious impairment of its infrastructure and immediately reported it to the AFP.

The man was hired as a contractor in January 2018 and had access to those servers and systems to perform his employed role in data archiving and software support. He accessed servers and supercomputers meant for undertaking a range of official scientific research and modified data within those systems – without authorisation – to mine cryptocurrency for his personal gain. It is estimated the man mined approximately $9,400 in cryptocurrency.

The AFP executed a search warrant at the man’s Killara, NSW property in March 2018 where electronic items, including a laptop and mobile phone, were seized.

Investigators interviewed and charged the man with offences relating to impairment of Commonwealth servers and systems.

Throughout the investigation it was calculated the minimum monetary impairment of the CSIRO supercomputers equated to at least $76,000.

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