A technician from SACAL, the company that manages the airports in Calabria, used the computer systems of Lamezia Terme airport to mine Ethereum
A technician from SACAL, the company that manages the airports in Calabria, used the computer systems of Lamezia Terme airport to illegally generate Ethereum (ETH).
It appears that the 41-year-old employee managed to install malware inside the airport’s IT infrastructure, thereby compromising its security.
Other SACAL technicians noticed some anomalies and immediately contacted the police. The police discovered a real mining farm, which was powered by the airport’s electrical network and connected the systems dedicated to managing airport services to the Internet.
Engineer Pierluigi Paganini, IT security expert and member of the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), explained to Rai News:
„This process is unprofitable for individuals due to the high management costs of the mining plant and energy expenditure. However, by abusing the resources of third parties it is possible to make significant profits“.
The employee who ran the mining farm was identified thanks to concealed surveillance and cameras. The investigation continues: law enforcement agencies are looking for possible accomplices.
Crypto currency mining malware poses a serious threat to many industries. According to a study conducted in January 2018, i.e. at the peak of the last bullish cycle, the Bitcoin Victory epidemic had affected 55% of companies worldwide.
In 2018, Australian government contractor Jonathan Khoo had installed malicious code inside two government supercomputers to generate crypto-malware. Before he was discovered, the man had managed to undermine Ethereum and Monero to the value of around A$9,420 (€5,800).
Also in 2018, engineers at the Russian Federal Nuclear Center were arrested after attempting to use one of Russia’s largest supercomputers to mine Bitcoin. The Federal Nuclear Center has about 20,000 employees and is located in Sarov, a secret city once unmarked on maps, where the first Soviet Union nuclear bomb was produced.