Recently, Florida Department of Police arrested a public official who was using resources of the Florida Department of Citrus to mine cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and litecoin.
The official in question is Matthew McDermott, information Technology manager for the Florida Department of Citrus. It was discovered after an inspection, purchases were found on a card for $ 22,000, in which 24 graphics cards designed for cryptocurrency mining was purchased. According to the report from the Florida Department of Police, one of the most suspicious factors was the sudden 41% increase ($ 825) in the consumption of office services, between the months of October 2017 and January 2018.
McDermott will be held at the Polk County Jail while awaiting trial, with the possibility of being released on bail for $ 5,000. The Office of the State Attorney for the Tenth Judicial Circuit will process the case.
Shannon Shepp, Executive Director of the Department of Citrus, said:
“We are grateful for the swift and professional actions of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This is a breach of ethics that is far outside the character of the Florida Department of Citrus and the industry we serve. Fortunately, our agency has internal controls that detected suspicious activity, and our Inspector General immediately notified the proper channels. We will continue to work with FDLE and the court system through this process.”
We saw last month, it was discovered that in a Nuclear lab located in Russia. Scientists were reportedly misusing facility such as supercomputers for illegal mining activity.
Although cryptocurrency mining is not an illegal activity in itself, the use of public resources for personal benefit is. In other countries, such as South Korea, even private institutions have decided to restrict this type of activity.
The American authorities have also had other encounter with bitcoin miners. A month ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States detected that an Bitcoin mining device ( Antminer S5 ) was interfering with the LTE network of the telecommunications company T-Mobile in New York City and sent a “Notification of Harmful interference “, in which they urge the user to disconnect the equipment and answer a series of questions about its legality and origin.