Polish court uncovers secret cryptomining rigs hidden in building


Officials at the Supreme Administrative Court of Poland in Warsaw discovered a number of high-powered cryptocurrency mining devices hidden in the courthouse – including in a ventilation duct and under a raised floor – that were powered by electricity from the court area.

The devices had their own modem to connect to the Internet, according to the Polish news channel TVN 24meaning they were not connected to the courthouse network.

Judge Sylwester Marciniak told the channel that the episode “presented no threat to the security of data stored at the Supreme Administrative Court”, and added that Poland’s Internal Security Agency – the country’s FBI – had been informed.

According to TVN 24, the devices were capable of consuming several thousand Polish zlotys worth of energy per month – with 1,000 zlotys worth around $250 – and had been placed near power supply equipment.

A few weeks after their discovery, in September, the president of the court terminated his contract with an outside company that had been hired to maintain the building’s devices.

TVN 24 reported that it had fired two employees responsible for maintaining the part of the building where the crypto-mining equipment was installed.

The equipment has since been dismantled and seized by the police and an investigation has been opened by the district prosecutor’s office for electricity theft. To date, no one has been charged.

This is not the first time that a justice building has unintentionally been the scene of cyber-misdeeds.

In 2015, five prisoners in Ohio were arrested after rebuilding two home computers from scrap parts for recycling.

These computers were hidden behind a board of plywood in the ceiling of a closet, then connected to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections network.

After hacking into the network using questionable login credentials, they used their access to issue passes allowing inmates to move around the facility and, in one case, even stole inmates’ personal information. another inmate to obtain multiple credit cards.

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Alexandre Martin

Alexander Martin is the UK editor of Recorded Future News. He was previously a technology journalist for Sky News and is also a member of the European Cyber ​​Conflict Research Initiative.

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