Sunday, November 29, 2020

Italian man caught allegedly using airport computer systems for ETH mining

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An Italian airport staffer allegedly took advantage of the computer systems at his place of work in order to mine Ethereum (ETH).

Employed at an airport located in the Italian city of Lamezia Terme, the staffer allegedly put mining malware onto the airport’s computer systems, said a news brief today from Italian media outlet Rai News. The employee is said to have set up multiple mining rigs on site, taking advantage of the airport’s backend systems in the process. Authorities eventually caught the culprit via security cam footage.

Technical services provide Sacal Global Solutions oversees the technical framework for the airports in the Italian region of Calabria. The airport employee, aged 41, is believed to have tapped into Sacal’s systems in order to install the mining malware. The staffer’s actions put the airport’s backend computer systems at risk, the news brief added.

“The investigators, with the collaboration of the airport authorities, analyzed the partitions of the IT network inside the hub, discovering the presence, in two different technical rooms, of a real ‘mining farm’ […] connected to the external Internet network through systems dedicated to the management of airport services and powered by the airport’s electricity supply,” Rai News reported, adding: 

“The investigations, coordinated by the Lamezia Terme Public Prosecutor’s Office, were conducted with technical activities that made it possible to examine the IP addresses associated with the machines installed, to identify the site of the ‘Ethermine’ pool (used for ‘mining’ of the Ethereum cryptocurrency) and monitor the site.”

Crypto mining malware is not an uncommon threat in the industry. Near the peak of the last crypto bull market in Jan. 2018, such malware reportedly plagued 55% of the globe’s companies.