A 41-year old computer technician at an Italian airport has been arrested for allegedly using the networked systems and electricity to mine Ethereum.
The technician supposedly rigged five computer processors into an Ethereum mining farm. The local police were alerted when the aberration was noticed and reported.
Security at the airport almost got jeopardized
The news of an unnamed technician using the airport’s networked systems to mine Ethereum flashed across all local news. The technician apparently was in charge of the airport’s computerized ecosystem thereby giving him easy access to the overall networked assets. Taking advantage of the unconditional and unregulated access to control areas he installed Ethereum mining software on the airport systems, jeopardizing security in the process.
The sequence of events
It was a busy day at the terminal but a particular member of the workforce from Sacal which manages seven airports and airfields noticed a slight deviation because of high power consumption and weird network activity. Upon detection, the matter was instantly reported to the Postal Police Reggio Calabria and Catanzaro for investigation. The entire circumstance gave way to dramatic usage of electricity and resource spend which could potentially reduce the operational lifespan on the infected hardware and failures. If the anomaly would continue undetected it could damage the communication systems which is crucial for an airport to function.
A holistic IT audit report followed suit and as a result, a mining farm was seen across two technical rooms made up of 5 GPUs tampered and doctored to conduct Mining of Ethereum. The rigged setup to encourage mining was connected to the internet through the core systems of the airport. On top of that, it was connected to the concern’s 24-hour power supply. Hence the technician undertook to mine using up the resources of the airport without bothering the potential risk to the system.
Lamezia Terme Public prosecutor office worked alongside the investigators and confirmed the Ethereum mining activity. They used the IP addresses linked to the processors to understand the location of the mining pool. Apart from this, the investigators wanted to establish the sanctity of their claims also observed from the footage of the secret camera the activities of the alleged employee. Once the breach was confirmed the employee was taken in for questioning.
Crypto-jacking – a major threat
A more relevant term for this is ‘crypto-jacking’ and ‘stealth mining’ which seems to become a new dangerous reality of the threat. Last year in November, Dexphot, claiming to be a sophisticated mining malware was found to have infected more than 80,000 computers.
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