Airport authorities operating at Italy’s Lamezia Terme International airport have detained a 41-year-old technician for illegally mining Ethereum using the airport workstations. The border police disclosed that the suspect was in charge of the I.T. infrastructure at the airport.
The technician who is an employee of Sacal Global Solutions, the company contracted to support the airport computer system, installed malware and exploited its network to mine Ethereum—as a result, compromising the airport’s network security system.
As per the announcement:
“THE ‘MINER’ WAS DISCOVERED AND REPORTED BY THE STAFF OF THE POSTAL POLICE OF REGGIO CALABRIA AND CATANZARO: HE IS A 41-YEAR-OLD TECHNICIAN IN CHARGE OF THE COMPUTERIZED INFRASTRUCTURE.”
A red flag was elevated after Sacal technicians identified irregularities in the network and alerted border police. Part of the investigations involved analyzing I.P. addresses linked to the mining activities.
CCTV cameras come in handy
CCTV cameras fitted in various rooms at the airport helped identify the suspect as he was caught red-handed. However, further investigations are being tried to leave no stone unturned in the case of accessories.
The report noted:
“THE INVESTIGATORS, WITH THE COLLABORATION OF THE AIRPORT AUTHORITIES, ANALYZED THE PARTITIONS OF THE IT NETWORK INSIDE THE HUB, DISCOVERING THE PRESENCE, IN TWO DIFFERENT TECHNICAL ROOMS, OF A REAL ‘MINING FARM’ THAT IS AN ABUSIVE NETWORK CONSISTING OF FIVE POWERFUL ELECTRONIC PROCESSORS, CALLED MINING RIG.”
Illegal crypto-mining movements on the rise
Crypto mining has risen to be lucrative, which explains why illegal activities have marred this venture. During April alone, Guardicore, cloud security and data center firm, issued a report showing how a malware botnet, tracked as Vollgar botnet, had been hijacking Microsoft SQL Server (MS-SQL) databases around the world and forcing them to mine the cryptocurrencies Vollar and Monero.
Later in August, Federal officials uncovered a sizeable illegal Bitcoin (BTC) mining site in Kyrgyzstan. It was operated by government officials of the Free Economic Zone. Furthermore, a former employee of an Australian federal agency escaped prison by a whisker despite mining cryptocurrency on government supercomputers.