A Sydney man has been charged by the Australian Federal Police for allegedly modifying the computer systems of a federal government agency to mine cryptocurrency while employed as an IT contractor.
The 33-year-old man is slated to face Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday charged with unauthorised modification of data to cause impairment and unauthorised modification of restricted data.
It follows a search of the man’s Killara property in Sydney’s monied Upper North Shore in March, which led police to seize a laptop, phone, data files and employee ID cards.
AFP will allege the man “abused his position as an IT contractor to manipulate program to use the processing power of the agency’s computer network for cryptocurrency mining”.
Profits from the alleged mining operations are estimated to worth in excess of $9000.
Cyber crime operations manager, acting commander Chris Goldsmid, described the alleged abuse of public office a very serious matter.
“Australian taxpayers put their trust in public officials to perform vital roles for our community with the utmost integrity. Any alleged criminal conduct which betrays this trust for personal gain will be investigated and prosecuted,” he said.
If found guilty, the man faces a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment.
In March 2018, two IT workers at the Bureau of Meteorology were questioned by police over the alleged use of the agency’s IT infrastructure to mine cryptocurrency.