Baidu employee earned $15k USD by mining cryptocurrencies on 200 company servers

Since its emergence, cryptocurrency mining has been considered as a highly lucrative activity, so many users worldwide have resorted to desperate measures in order to own some virtual currencies. A renowned IT security services firm reported that a systems engineer from Baidu, a Chinese company equivalent to Google, will be imprisoned after it was discovered that he used about 200 company servers to mine the Monero cryptocurrency.

The individual reportedly managed to mine 100,000 Yuan, equivalent to nearly $15k USD in Monero, according to the current exchange rate.

An Bang was working on maintaining Baidu search engine. A couple of years ago, he began to take an interest in cryptocurrency mining, an activity that requires huge processing resources, so he decided to install scripts for the extraction of Monero on the company’s servers.

According to the IT security services report, Baidu security teams detected high server activity, so they notified the authorities with a possible intrusion in mind. Finally, Chinese police identified Bang, who had conducted multiple transactions. The individual was charged with illegitimate access to a computer system, for which he was sentenced to three years in prison, and received a fine of 11,000 Yuan ($1,500 USD).

Since last November, China removed cryptocurrency mining from its list of undesirable activities, as the IT security services firm mentioned. However, transactions with Bitcoin and any other variant of virtual asset are considered illegal in the Asian giant, so stronger measures against this activity will be implemented in the future. This measure relates to the Chinese government’s intentions to launch its own central bank-controlled cryptocurrency, although it is worth mentioning that the coronavirus outbreak has interrupted any related plans.

The International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) mentions that illegal cryptocurrency mining, known as cryptojacking, remains a highly practiced activity, mainly due to the low complexity of completing an attack and minimum resources required.