The head of the IT department under Crimea’s Council of Ministers and the head of that department’s hardware and technical support division have been fired after it came to light that they used state-owned computers to mine bitcoin.
According to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, Alexander Akshatin, chairman of the Anti-Corruption Committee of the Republic of Crimea, announced their termination in a Sevastopol press conference last week. He explained that they executed the illicit mining by uploading malicious software to a Crimean government server and ultimately conscripted over a dozen machines into the operation.
He predicted that the employees’ firing would be effective in deterring future offenders from carrying out similar schemes.
The mining operation netted a total of less than a single bitcoin and the pair was fired before the sum could be withdrawn, he reported.
Other mining schemes in which malicious actors harnessed pilfered computing power to mine cryptocurrency have made the news lately. These include a so-called “malvertising” attack executed on showtime.com and another that targeted visitors to certain video streaming and gaming sites, most of whom hailed from Eastern Europe and Central Asia.