Some reports claim that employers steal $15 billion from their employees annually by refusing to pay overtime or misclassifying workers. Now, employees are turning the tables and stealing their employers’ computing power to mine bitcoin.
Mining bitcoin is a costly endeavor — so why not put those costs on your company’s electric bill?
According to Nicole Eagan, CEO of cybersecurity company Darktrace, that’s exactly what thousands of employees are doing. The number of workers siphoning their employers’ computing power to mine bitcoin is on the rise, she told those in attendance at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council event, stating:
We have seen 1,000 crypto-mining cases in the last six months in the US alone with employees taking over company infrastructure for crypto mining. This is becoming a big problem.
A big problem for the companies, maybe.
Mining bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies require a tremendous amount of computing power to offset energy costs, making it difficult for your average everyday person to turn a profit. However, if you’re not the one paying those energy bills, that’s a horse of a different color — and one most employers would probably like to take out back and shoot.
As noted by Business Insider, Eagan related one example where a junior banker in Italy stole servers which he’d signed for using his company’s clout. She explained:
He had taken 12 of these and hidden them under the floorboards in the data centre of the bank and then set up his own crypto mining range. This went undetected for some period of time. Luckily we actually detected it because there were these unusual connections going outside the bank to these crypto mining places.
Eagan wasn’t the only one to bring up the issue of employees stealing power from their employers to mine bitcoin.
Robert Hannigan, the director of Britain’s government cybersecurity agency GCHQ from 2014 to 2017, also stated:
People are doing what they’ve always done in the criminal world, which is to harness unsecured processing power from around the world. We see it all the time in botnets – using your network or your personal computer to do work for them at night if it’s not secured.
Bitcoin has still yet to reach mainstream adoption, and many people still don’t really know exactly what it is – let alone how to mine it. As such, expect the number of individuals secretly mining bitcoin at their bosses’ expense to continue to rise.
What do you think about mining bitcoin with your employer’s energy? Do you think this trend will continue to rise? Let us know in the comments below!
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