A Russian hacker who used government-owned servers for illicit Bitcoin mining is facing up to five years in jail for his actions.
One thing you can say about a criminal, cyber or otherwise, is that they’re always looking to make some easy money. The advent of cryptocurrency has provided a handy outlet for cybercriminals to use the computer equipment of others to financially benefit themselves. A 21-year-old Russian cybercriminal is finding himself in hot water after being caught for hacking government servers.
Hacking to Do Some Bitcoin Mining
The hacking attack originated from the city of Kurgan, which is located in Siberia. The cybercriminal apparently was successful in hacking servers of the local government in three different regions.
The 21-year-old used the service equipment of the hacked servers to engage in some illicit Bitcoin mining. He was able to gain some funds, which were deposited to his wallet.
However, his luck ran out when security officials of the Yaroslavl region detected his attack. They noted that he made one hundred thousand attempts in an hour to find the correct password to gain access. Investigators from the Federal Security Service of Russia were able to track him down, and he is now awaiting trial. If he is found guilty, he faces up to five years in prison.
Crypto Mining Issues
A host of issues have plagued cryptocurrency mining over the last few months. There has been an increase in malware used for cryptojacking, and experts predict that this popularity will only continue.
It’s reported that over 280,000 routers worldwide have been infected. As seen above, even government computers are not safe from attack. Researchers recently found that quite a few government websites in India were hacked in order to mine cryptocurrency.
The popular cryptocurrency choice for cryptojacking hackers is Monero. The privacy-focused coin has become synonymous with hacking, which has moved the coin’s developers to create a malware response workgroup to combat the threat.
One way that some people look to score some easy money via crypto mining is to steal the power needed or to get it as cheaply as possible. A Chinese man was recently sentenced to 3.5 years in jail for stealing electricity from a train network in order to power his Bitcoin mining operation. A church in Russia has been ordered to pay a fine of one million rubles (around $15,000) for taking advantage of residential rates (which are lower) for their secret mining venture.
As long as people can use a program and get someone else’s system do the heavy lifting in mining cryptocurrency, cryptojacking will not go away. The problem for law enforcement is the difficulty in tracking down the hackers, not to mention that the cybercriminal may be located on the opposite side of the world.
Do you think the Russian hacker will be found guilty? How much time do you think he will serve if he is? Let us know in the comments below.
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