Former Australian Contractor Sentenced for Mining Crypto on Supercomputer

Jonathan Khoo, a former contractor for the Australian federal agency, used research supercomputers to mine crypto in 2018.

By · Sep 21, 2020 . 5min read

Mining crypto on Supercomputer news
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On Friday, Jonathan Khoo was sentenced for employing the CISRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s) servers and supercomputers to conduct crypto mining. Jonathan Khoo, 34 years old, is a former employee of an Australian federal agency. He used supercomputers to mine crypto in 2018. Jonathan Khoo ducked the highest penalties of 10 years of jail time. However, Magistrate Erin Kennedy handed Khoo a 15-month intensive correction order on Friday. It will take place through 300 hours of community service.

Jonathan Khoo’s January 2018 mining operation returned around 9,400 Australian dollars. Thus costing the CSIRO at least AUD 76,000 from lost productivity and misconfiguration. According to AFP Commander Cybercrime Operations, Chris Goldsmid, Khoo redirected these supercomputer resources away from performing vital scientific research for the nation. This includes Pulsar Data Array Analysis, medical research, and climate modelling work to estimate climate change consequences.

Jonathan Khoo dodged ten years punishment for crypto mining

Jonathan Khoo was declared guilty of illegal alteration of data to cause impairment before the Downing Centre Local Court in February 2020. The admonitions provided a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Still, Khoo’s comparatively light punishment of 300 hours of community service is partially due to Khoo’s qualm and cooperation with law enforcement. Additionally, this follows his cooperation during his home search in March 2018.

According to the presiding magistrate Erin Kennedy, the prominence of holding a government research organization targeted by a rogue contractor, indicates more significant harm, could have happened to the public resources if Khoo or another actor had more spiteful purposes. Khoo’s mining activities served a bit more than a month. Thus, the mining returns of AUD 9,400 in all seem worth the penalties. If we consider his 300 hours of community service, Khoo’s crypto-mining journey earned him the equivalent hourly wage of $23.

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