7 mins ago |
By Avi Mizrahi – |
Louisiana Attorney General Fires IT Staff for Allegedly Mining Bitcoin
It appears that the allure of free electricity and computer systems, courtesy of the tax payers, might be too hard for some government workers all over the world to resist. After it was recently revealed that Russian nuclear scientists were arrested for mining bitcoin on the job, now it is reported that American IT staff apparently lost their jobs for doing the same in Louisiana.
Mining Bitcoin in Louisiana
Louisiana’s Attorney General is reportedly conducting a criminal investigation against his own office’s former IT personal, including an ousted director, over allegations they used state resources to mine bitcoin.
The AG office’s Louisiana Bureau of Investigation reportedly questioned the suspects after authorities discovered “hardware” that they believed could have been used for mining bitcoin. It has not been revealed yet to the public exactly what equipment was found, so it is not possible to determine whether it was really ASICs to mine actual bitcoin, some GPU rigs to mine altcoins, just CPU mining malware or something different altogether.
Two former Attorney General’s Office employees also told Baton Rouge based newspaper The Advocate that the term “logic bomb” appeared in an email exchange that was discovered by state investigators. But the former IT director told the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) he had no knowledge of any such thing being introduced.
Former IT Staff Claims All Allegations Are False
The fired employees included a systems administrator, a help desk manager, a litigation support coordinator and a human resources person affiliated with the IT division. Three of the former staffers denied the accusations in interviews with The Advocate, saying they were fired due to a misunderstanding by the AG Office.
According to the local news report the fired employees said that “they could not have used agency computers to mine for cryptocurrency even if they had wanted to because the machines lack the capability.” They further tried to explain that “such activity would have easily been detected due to the massive amount of electricity needed to power the computational processes.”