Baidu staffer caught trying to make free Monero coins

A senior engineer in China will be spending the next three years in jail after he was caught profiteering from unauthorized processing, aka mining, of the digital currency. The engineer illicitly processed digital currencies in early 2018, back when their prices were still quite high. He was caught after his superiors noticed suspicious activities and brought the police in to investigate.

The engineer, known as An Bang worked for Chinese search engine giant Baidu, a report by Abacus News revealed. Lured by the prospect of making some quick money, he decided to start mining using company servers. Bang reportedly downloaded mining scripts onto some 200 Baidu servers and began to process Monero.

Bang, who was in charge of the maintenance of Baidu servers sold his stash for 100,000 yuan ($14,250). Baidu discovered suspicious activities on its servers later on and called the police who unearthed Bang’s illegal activity. He was arrested and has now been found guilty of illegally taking control of a computer system. He was sentenced three years in prison and an 11,000 yuan ($1,560) fine.

An Bang becomes the latest culprit to be found processing digital currencies illegally using work resources. With the digital currency industry being worth hundreds of billions of dollars, even in its current rundown state, the lure has proved too much for many employees, and a good number of them have been caught red-handed.

Russian authorities charged two people for accessing servers owned by state organizations and using them to process digital currencies in December 2019. Just a month prior, Russia had sentenced a nuclear scientist to three years in prison for a similar crime. The scientist, who worked for the All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Experimental Physics, was one of three culprits. The other two were not sent to prison, getting away with huge fines.

In the U.S., one Amazon employee hacked into the systems of over 30 entities, including Capital One Bank, a state agency and a public research university. She then used their servers to illegally make digital currencies, which inadvertently left them prone to attacks by criminals.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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