The attorney general of Louisiana has reportedly opened a criminal investigation regarding former employees who are alleged to have used resources to mine bitcoin.
In a report from Government Technology, it states that the office of Jeff Landry, the attorney general for Louisiana, refused to acknowledge that an inquiry was taking place or that its IT department was undergoing investigation. Around half a dozen employees had also been fired in September.
Even though no charges have been filed, it appears that the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation has questioned staffers after hardware was discovered that ‘could have been used in the so-called mining of bitcoin,’ the report said. The former employees have stated that its use was not for personal gain.
One law enforcement official who remained unnamed due to the ongoing investigation said:
We were worried that the (computer) systems may have been compromised.
What prompted the bureau to investigate the IT department was the result of discussions via email about a ‘logic bomb.’ According to the report, a logic bomb is a line of code that initiates malicious activity on a computer system. It achieves this after a certain time period or if certain conditions have been met. However, it’s not known if authorities discovered any malware on the computer systems.
This incident comes at a time when there is increasing interest within the crypto market. As such this example illustrates how the use of public-office resources are being employed to mine cryptocurrencies.
For example, last month it was reported that Russian scientists working at the Federal Nuclear Centre in Sarov had been arrested after it was alleged that they had used one of Russia’s most powerful supercomputers to mine for bitcoin.
At the time, Tatyana Zalesskaya, head of the research institute press service, said:
Similar attempts have recently been registered in a number of large companies with large computing capacities, which will be severely suppressed at our enterprises, this is technically a hopeless and criminal offense.