It seems that the appeal of free electricity and computer systems, courtesy of taxpayers, may be too difficult for some public servants around the world to resist. After it was only recently reported that Russian nuclear scientists were detained for mining bitcoin in the workplace, it is now reported that American IT staff apparently lost their employment for doing the same in Louisiana.
Mining Bitcoin in Louisiana
Louisiana’s Attorney General is investigating the former computer scientist in his own office, including a ousted director, into claims that he used state resources to mine bitcoin.
The Louisiana Bureau of Investigation in the GA’s office allegedly questioned the suspects after the officials discovered ” material ” that they believed could have been used to mine bitcoin. It has not yet been announced to the public exactly what equipment was discovered, so it is not clear whether it was really ASICs to mine real bitcoin, some GPU platforms to mine altcoins, just CPU Mining malware or something totally different.
Two former employees of the Attorney General’s office also told the Baton Rouge-based newspaper The Advocate that the term “logical bomb” appeared in an e-mail exchange that had been uncovered by state investigators. But the former IT manager told the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that he was not aware of the introduction of such a thing.
Fired staff claims of all allegations are false
The terminated employees included a system administrator, a help desk manager, a litigation support coordinator and a human resources individual from the IT division. Three of the former staff denied the charges in interviews with Counsel, claiming that they had been discharged because of a misunderstanding by the GA Office.
According to local news reports, fired employees stated that “they could not have used agency computers to mine for cryptocurrency even if they had wanted to because the machines lack the capability.” They further tried to explain that “such activity would have easily been detected due to the massive amount of electricity needed to power the computational processes.”
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