An Australian Government Employee has to compulsory appear in court today because he has allegedly used government IT systems to mine cryptocurrency for his own gain. The news was reported by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on May 21.

The AFP states that the 33-year old man belonging to Killara in New South Wales has taken benefit as an IT Contractor to "manipulate programs to use the processing power of the agency’s computer network for cryptocurrency mining." The overall profit obtained from the mining activities is found to be more than AU$9,000 (~$6,200).

The unknown man's appearance at the court happens after the AFP search operation of his residency in Sydney on March 5, at that time officers captured his personal laptop, personal phone, employee ID cards, and data files. 

The unknown man would have to present in the court today mainly for two charges. This includes

“Unauthorized modification of data to cause impairment, contrary to section 477.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) [and] Unauthorized modification of restricted data, contrary to section 478.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (CT).”

Chris Goldsmid, who is the AFP Acting Commander and Manager of Cybercrime Operations highlighted the seriousness of the alleged offence by an individual in public office. He stated:

“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.”

The individual in the charges mentioned above is responsible for a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and 2 years of imprisonment respectively.

It's true that Crypto mining profitability is mainly dependent on the price of electricity used to run mining equipment. Keeping this in mind, the urge to mine cryptocurrency at someone else's expense is exciting for some people.

There are a large number of people who have been caught for mining cryptocurrency illegally in the last 2 years. Out of which, one in 2017, a former employee of the Federal Reserve Board of Directors was being penalized by $5,000 and kept on parole when he was caught for mining bitcoins on a server owned by U.S. Central Bank.