back to article Bitcoin mining rig found stashed in school crawlspace

A Massachusetts man accused of using his job as a city's assistant facilities director to hide a cryptocurrency mining operation in the crawlspace of a school has surrendered himself to authorities on Friday morning after skipping his Thursday arraignment.  A judge issued a default warrant for Nadeam Nahas' arrest yesterday on …

  1. gbchew

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    ...stay away from all public buildings...

    ....due back in court...

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

      Hey, I had a court security guard take offense to my large set of keys (it's a weapon, ya know, not something vital to my job) and order me to LOCK MY KEYS IN MY CAR.[1]

      And yes, I asked him to repeat that, just to confirm.

      They're all complete morons.

      [1] this was for jury duty, at which point I walked out, got on my motorcycle (I don't even have a car) and drove off. The clerk called and asked why I failed to show, and did a facepalm and excused me.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

        Security guards are the worst, underpaid, and think they're something special. And often due to the nature of the recruiting process, overmuscled dimwits

        1. Dacarlo

          Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

          Bit of a derogatory generalisation if you ask me. The security chaps where I work are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet, one of whom left a while back was a doctor in training. None of them are 'overmuscled dimwits'.

          1. UCAP Silver badge

            Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

            Totally agree with you. I've known some security guards who definitely thought very highly of themselves, but they where definitely exceptions to the rule - the majority that I have known are just great guys & gals who are trying to do their job as well as they can. Once I was having to work late at a customer's site in order to meet a fairly arbitrary deadline set by the customer, and one of their security guards was nice enough to bring me a cup of tea and some biscuits - gratefully received by yours truly!

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

              "I've known some security guards who definitely thought very highly of themselves"

              Yes. Unfortunately they taint the image for the others as they become visible when the job isn't supposed to be

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

            Then again, we had some who would get bored on the night shift, and use lab PCs to play games, on occasion even rebooting them, despite the signs saying that they were running QA tests overnight.

            1. Persona Silver badge

              Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

              We had some that viewed a lot of porn on the night shift. The one who was caught would have got away with it had he chosen not to print out one of the better photos. As luck would have it it ended up smack in the middle of the daily security rounds report that showed the times that each area had been checked and any findings of note. It didn't go down well with management when they reviewed the report as the guards had been complaining that they were too busy on the night shift.

          3. Martin-73 Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

            it very much depends on the situation they're in, this is true. Store security etc are usually very affable, was thinking more of the 'bouncer' type... have a beer for the weekend as a form of apology

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

          Depends where you are and what you do.

          By the way you express yourself you never had a protective detail, or you would not have that opinion. These are people doing a job. You did identify that they're often underpaid, so maybe work out what that would do to your behaviour if someone expressed such a view to you in word or attitude.

        3. Plest Silver badge

          Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

          Good and bad in every profession. I do a lot of city photography and I've met my fair share who think they know the law, tell me to move when I'm in the right and some I've even complained about to the building owners, which often gets an apology. I had one who was adament that people doing photography as a hobby never, ever use professional equipment. He marched right up to me and started laying into me, showing no respect. I hate to brag but I lost it and said, "They do if they've just won a high ranking position in the most coveted photography competion in the UK, therefore considered in the top 50 photographers in the country right now!". He told me I was wrong and I wasn't in the mood for "jobsworths".

          However for every arsehole who thinks he knows everything, I've met some incredible security guards, they've chatted they simply wanted to know what I was doing, can they see my pics on a website and most ask nicely if they can see my pics I've just taken. If they're polite then I show them the same respect, show them what I've been doing, explain about the light, composition and picture framing, give them my card with my number and website and that's usually enough for them, most will then offer you a few tips about where to go. I was shooting in Docklands and 2 cars rolled up, 3 sec guards jump out and one politely asks me what I'm shooting, he then explained the rules ( no doors or sec cameras can be shot and keep out of people's way ) and then he suggested a few good places for me to go check out for good pictures.

          Most of the time if you get all high and mighty, start shouting about your rights they will turn nasty and you'll be arguing. If you're both polite, and you offer enough info to show you're just out enjoying yourself, they're usually good people and will reciprocate in kind.

          1. Lil Endian Silver badge

            Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

            I was shooting in Docklands and 2 cars rolled up, 3 sec guards jump out and one politely asks me what I'm shooting, he then explained the rules ( no doors or sec cameras can be shot and keep out of people's way )

            I'm curious here Plest - as I understand it there's no such restrictions on photographing cameras/doors as long as the photographer is on public property and not photographing Crown property.

            I know it's a nightmare of law regarding photography, ie. commercial vs non-commercial differences, people in public (public, so "okay" but ECHR "reasonable expectation of privacy" can apply = messy!). There can also be restrictions on areas for certain incidents (Terrorism Act 2000) which are transitory, and rocking up to certain locations in, say, Colchester or Hereford might not be a life extending move, regardless of any other restrictions!

            What were the grounds of restriction for the security bods?

            TIA

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

              "I know it's a nightmare of law regarding photography, ie. commercial vs non-commercial differences, people in public (public, so "okay" but ECHR "reasonable expectation of privacy" can apply = messy!)."

              If you are on public property/access, there's no difference between commercial and non-commercial photography. The courts have ruled many times that there is no expectation of privacy in public. If you leave your curtains open, there might not even be a reasonable expectation of privacy in your own home depending on the circumstances. There was a case about a photographer getting some snaps of the people in an adjacent high-rise where the photographer won and the people photographed admonish to close the drapes if they don't want to be recorded prancing around in the buff.

              1. Lil Endian Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

                You're using "drapes" so I'm assuming US law, I'm talking UK, to clarify - apols if my assumption is incorrect.

                The commercial/non-commercial and public place points were not part of the same clause in my post. As an example, on a railway station platform (public access) you can take non-commercial photos no probs, but for commercial you need a permit. For a public place, there can be a problem, eg. with photographing a family (with minors) as they (the minors) have no personal ability to acknowledge the "public place" caveat (that's under ECHR) - it's thorny for sure!

                Generally speaking, effectively 99.9'% of the time, what you've said is correct, but it isn't black and white AFAIK.

                Cheers!

              2. Lil Endian Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

                You're using "drapes" so I'm assuming US law, I'm talking UK, to clarify - apols if my assumption is incorrect.

                Hang on, "curtains" and "drapes".... I'm confused! Sorry! :DDD

            2. rmv

              Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

              "What were the grounds of restriction for the security bods?"

              Probably that Canary Wharf isn't public property, it's owned by CanaryWharf Group PLC and they've set rules about what photography is allowed to take place on their property.

              1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

                "Probably that Canary Wharf isn't public property,"

                If the public is normally granted free access the company may not be allowed to restrict photography. If they put up a gate and restrict access, they could also prohibit photos being taken. Easements for public access are a messy subject and differ in many places. Many times a thoroughfare through what is otherwise private property is required in during planning. Most courts will find that if a common-man test implies that it's a public space, security thugs can't toss people out for taking photos. The easement being privately owned can mean that the government can't come along and widen a road to the edge of a building or do anything similar as they have no right to do so.

            3. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

              "as long as the photographer is on public property"

              Spectacularly large areas of "public space" in UK cities are actually private property

              As one example, all the waterfront along the Thames between Tower and London Bridges (both sides) and the security guards outside the Mayor's testicle (city hall) have a tendency to be shouty jobsworths at the best of times

              Many of the "parks" or "gardens" are also private property, despite having public access

              1. Orv Silver badge

                Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

                In Salt Lake City fairly large chunks of what appears to be public land is actually owned by the Mormons. This came up when they told same-sex couples they couldn't kiss or hold hands in those areas.

              2. Lil Endian Silver badge

                Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

                Indeed. Many shopping areas in town centres are private property. It's exactly this overlap of "private property" and "public access" which creates so much confusion, with photography being particularly susceptible.

        4. jvf

          where are they?

          overmuscled?- Where did you see these guys? All the ones I've ever seen are old and fat. Makes me nervous that they couldn't handle a situation where they were really needed.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: where are they?

            The correct way to handle any situation is to call for assistance. Dead heroes are still dead

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

        Around here, it's technically possible to remove a single car key from a keyring, and use it to lock the rest of the bunch in the car.

        Of course he couldn't know you didn't own one.

        So it's not quite obvious how deserved your insults toward a group of workers are. They have to deal with difficult people quite often, people who aren't always aware they're being difficult.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

          If I can't take a bunch of keys in somewhere because of the risk that I might ... I'm not sure why I can't. Basically the only thing I can think to do with a key that would be dangerous is to stab someone with it, and I can do so just as well, in fact better, with a single key than with a bunch of them that I'd have to disentangle first. If the facility concerned is in such a safety-critical situation that they can't handle keys, objects that nearly every adult has with them at all times, then they either need to lock it down until they solve whatever security crisis they have or provide secure storage for the people they're inviting down there.

          The situation is entirely ridiculous, and that combined with the statement from the original post that the clerk understood the frustration and didn't complain about it suggests to me that making people leave their keys in their car is not a rigid policy of the location. I don't find this hard to believe, because some security staff including law enforcement have been known to make up rules that don't exist in order to press their authority.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

          Unless you're on a motorbike, like the guy making the comment

      3. DS999 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

        Do you have some sort of a permanently welded keychain that doesn't allow you to take your car/motorcycle key off the rest temporarily?

        While I applaud your ingenuity in getting out of jury duty, I question who the moron is in this story.

        1. MarkTriumphant

          Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

          Where would the rest of the keys be stored? Depending on the motorcycle, there might not even be that much storage space available.

          Mine would have space, but others may not, especially not secure enough space.

          1. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

            If the court security guard wants you to not have your keys in the courtroom he should be willing to store them for you. Anyway, most motorcycles have lockable storage more than sufficient for even the most insane number of keys someone is carrying around.

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

              "Anyway, most motorcycles have lockable storage more than sufficient for even the most insane number of keys someone is carrying around."

              Maybe that's true, but there are plenty of circumstances where that isn't the case. What if I walked to the courthouse? Walk home and put the keys there then walk back? What if I cycled there, and thus I need not only my home key but also one for the bicycle, which does not come equipped with lockable storage for others? What if I took a bus there and it's now prohibitive for me to take it back home and back to drop off some keys. If there is a reason why I can't take the keys with me, and I have yet to hear anybody explain why this makes any sense, then it is the responsibility of the person who has the rule to accommodate it. I don't think anyone should accept that ridiculous restriction and, as I've said in a different comment, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the guard made it up on the spot and no such rule exists.

      4. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

        Some years ago, I was checking in for a return flight from Glasgow to East Midlands. The security dork at the gate took umbrage to my wallet chain. Said "It could be used as a weapon". I pointed out I'd flown up with it, and nobody stopped me. That the lady in the queue in front of me had a bag with rope handles, that the guy she was with was wearing a tie, that we were all wearing belts, had shoelaces,.... but nope, i had to go check my chain in. So I did, went through, and what was on sale in one of the shops on the other side? Yeah, wallets with chains. Security dork didn't even know his own airport.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

          Should have purchased one and taken it back to the desk (in bag, with receipt) for him to check in... then come back with another... and another...

  2. PhilipN Silver badge

    Accounting control

    So whoever approved payments for the electricity bill did not notice?

    1. spuck

      Re: Accounting control

      It's not like the Beancounters could do a Code Red and order the power cut or freeze all payments to the electric company until they figured it out.

      Maybe somebody did notice and added it as an item for the facilities people to take a look at, during their routine inspection?

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Accounting control

        If it was installed over a period of time, it would be a rising cost rather than a sudden bump. Might not have even stood out as an irregularity.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Accounting control

      Assuming the mining cluster was the same size throughout, that appears to be about $2k per month for a large school building, which may share its bill with other buildings administered by the same body. If they use electricity for heating, that could also be a highly variable bill. I found a report that mentions a $1M electricity bill for one year of a school district's usage, and it claims this to be an average amount of usage for U.S. school districts although the specific location of their example wasn't specified. At that point, the increase in usage could be small in proportion to other expenses and didn't get called out in time. I doubt public government finance departments have the staff to analyze each bill at a detailed level, and they may take the approach that if it's a bill they expect, then they pay it and maybe worry later if there's a problem.

      1. Dacarlo

        Re: Accounting control

        A new an exciting avenue for AI. Catching dodgy leccy thieves!

      2. Nifty Silver badge

        Re: Accounting control

        I've got a profit making idea that schools could use every winter... Underfloor heating crytomining combo...

      3. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Accounting control

        Was going to mention this. I used to work on a college campus and the individual buildings were not submetered.

    3. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Accounting control

      Schools are notorious for having huge fluctuations in the energy usage. New computer lab, more juice. Added more stuff to the wood shop, 3d printers running for 8 hours at a crack, more juice. New electric gizmos for facilities instead of petrol powered... I worked at a school for many years, this is a short list...

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: Schools are notorious for having huge fluctuations in the energy usage.

        In my class we used to like melting cable insulation by plugging cables between plus and minus on our bench terminals. The power pack ammeter on the wall was near full scale deflection but I don't ever remember having a fuse or breaker go.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Accounting control

        Are we even allowed to say 'fluctuations' these days? Someone would sure take offence and say what if it was 'fluctuyanks' or 'fluctubrits'.

    4. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Accounting control

      Done in one install, the power usage might show, but done gradually or right at the beginning of the school year, it might go unnoticed. In the middle cretaceous when I was in school and active in the theatre department, stage lights were 500W-1000W fixtures and I expect that when we had productions going on the bill was quite a bit more than the rest of the year when we were just building sets and having classes. Leccy bills could be quite variable. The other thing is they might not get scrutinized but just put in the payment system as they arrive or even just paid automatically these days with almost no oversight.

      1. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Accounting control

        Even on the tiny stage I used to work on it was common to have 10 kW or so of lights plugged in.

    5. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Accounting control

      I'd like to know how much bitcoin he mined.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: I'd like to know how much bitcoin he mined.

        Thinking about it the media would have picked up on it if it had been worth a lot (compare with "big value drugs haul" type headlines).

        From the police's point of view, if he had only mined a meagre amount of crypto then they would no doubt like to see headlines along the lines of "was it worth the effort/risk?"

    6. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Accounting control

      If it's ramped up slowly it would be very hard to notice

  3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Crawl space? Come on, this is a techy publication, them's Jefferies Tubes!

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      I read that as "a tetchy publication" and thought hang on, that's a bit strong... "acerbic" maybe, "cynical" definitely.. but "tetchy"?

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Windows

        A friend of mine, called me Tetched in the head, it created memes before they were a thing. There are framed pictures of me with captions from various drunken exploits. When we were Kings....

  4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    WTF?

    Coast Guard?

    See icon ------------------->

    1. hayzoos

      Re: Coast Guard?

      It's a coastal town, hence the Coast Guard provides advanced forensic support.

      Ironically, the town recently announced a community electricity program for discounted electricity rates.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    He would have got away with it

    If it wasn’t for those pesky kids!

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: He would have got away with it

      Thank you sir.

  6. Sceptic Tank Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Scammers ripping of the conmen.

    Is the mined bitcoin now with FTX?

    Approximately $17,492? So how much was it exactly?

    1. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Scammers ripping of the conmen.

      Great story. Crypto, the scam gift that keeps on giving.

    2. Plest Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Scammers ripping of the conmen.

      Binance is next to fall, the SEC is sniffing around them big time. Grab your popcorn, this one's going to be fun!

    3. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Scammers ripping of the conmen.

      "Approximately $17,492? So how much was it exactly?"

      In coin? Maybe £12.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Scammers ripping of the conmen.

        No no no, I just drew a garish picture of a monkey in MS Paint and I'm selling it for $4000... therefore that's what it's worth, right? And if I have a disk crash and lose monkey.bmp then I can loudly complain that I've lost $4000.

        That's how NFTs seem to work.

  7. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    ...numerous computers that seemed out of place.

    Reminders of the heavily dust-laden UNIX server I tracked down in a stairwell many years ago (for a Y2K assessment IIRC). Loads of dumb terminals, but nothing apparently driving them.

    ===

    A school with underfloor heating should have raised a few eyebrows.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ...numerous computers that seemed out of place.

      "A school with underfloor heating should have raised a few eyebrows."

      ...or even someone noticing some warm air blasting out of wherever the improvised extra ducting (shown on the photos) was coming out of the building...even during summer or school holidays periods.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: ...numerous computers that seemed out of place.

        The extra ducts could have been designed to emerge at a point where people aren't generally looking for heat, such as a side of the building not near typical entries, at a place where there is already heat output, such as cooling systems for servers or cooking equipment, or to disperse the heat into a few places so it wasn't as noticeable.

        As for underfloor heating, nobody would think that it was designed that way, but if it's anything like the schools I went to, the heating system was unpredictable and basically whatever it did, you just accepted it because you couldn't change it even if you wanted to. Seemingly cooled air coming through the vents in midwinter? Deal with it. One classroom doesn't appear to have any ventilation even though there are openings for it? Open a door, because nobody's going to change it. A hot patch on the floor? Unless it's setting the desk above it on fire, nobody cares, and if it's making the person at that desk uncomfortable, they'll arrive early tomorrow and slide some desks a bit so it's between desks instead of right below theirs.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: ...numerous computers that seemed out of place.

      At least one internet-critical server (senator-bedfellow?) was found to be operating in the ceiling cavity of a lab at MIT

      Apparently it took a LONG time to track down, due to the people originally involved retiring or moving on

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: ...numerous computers that seemed out of place.

        > was found to be operating in the ceiling cavity of a lab at MIT

        Early cloud prototype, before they’d got the altitude right.

      2. Orv Silver badge

        Re: ...numerous computers that seemed out of place.

        This also used to be a common way to hide "non-approved uses" such as game servers, IRC servers, and MUCKs, back when always-on home Internet was rare. Almost all of that stuff was either under someone's desk at a university or at an Internet start-up somewhere.

  8. dermots

    He pleaded not guilty

    From the linked article: “a debit card in Nahas’ name was used to purchase Coleman 48qt coolers, insulated flex ducts, extreme weather foil, insulation sleeves, and a water-based sealant tub, all items located in the crawl space”.

    The accused is clearly going to be desperate to find out who stole these items from him and used them to construct the mining rigs in his very own workplace. The nerve of those unknown criminals!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He pleaded not guilty

      "...a debit card in Nahas’ name was used to purchase..."

      Silly bloke - he should have found these materials online and used his Bitcoin to pay for them....might have prevented some incriminating evidence being found?

  9. Roland6 Silver badge

    “ Sorry, this content is not available in your region.”

    Is this another example of change at el reg?.

    It would be helpful if links to articles work in all geographic regions, especially the UK…

    1. Giles C Silver badge

      Re: “ Sorry, this content is not available in your region.”

      That will be the site wants to run 500+ tracking and advertising cookies the owners don’t want to make it gdpr compliant so instead they block all EU ip addresses

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: “ Sorry, this content is not available in your region.”

        No problems, but el reg do have regmedia.co.uk which previously was used to hold documents referenced by articles….

        1. Neil C Burns
          Facepalm

          Re: “ Sorry, this content is not available in your region.”

          reg seems to have forgotten its roots being a uk site in the beginnings.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: “ Sorry, this content is not available in your region.”

      Was that displayed by El Reg's server or by one of the other publications the article linked? If it's the former, then they should answer for it, but as I'm not seeing it, I'm guessing it's one of the others. In that case, The Register isn't responsible for whether another news organization is blocking your connections and can't do much about it, but it would be a bad reason to not cover the issue if their sources weren't globally visible.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: “ Sorry, this content is not available in your region.”

        For me link 1 “allegedly” - works

        Link 2 “eight months” is uk region blocked

        Link 3 “January 2023” works.

        Given El Reg has a large uk audience - for reasons well understood by regular readers, it would make sense that el reg ensured all further information links they have inserted into articles work for at least uk and probably also other European readers.

        This isn’t about not covering the issue, it is about quality of journalism. So does the offending website wcvb.com actually offer anything unique that isn’t available from other sources?

        Personally, when I encounter such blindness to the RoW, I find another site that covers the points I am referencing and forget about the one playing stupid.

  10. AlanSh

    How much did he make?

    Enquiring minds want to know (well, I do!)

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: How much did he make?

      On the other hand, enquiring gnomes wish to (crypto)mine

  11. Blackjack Silver badge

    Honesty I am surprised cryptocurrency mining is not illegal in many countries yet. Aren't we in the middle of an energy crisis?

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      It's not the only thing that uses a lot of energy, and none of those things have been banned either. Depending on what you mean by "energy crisis", we could be in a long one or we could be between them at the moment, but in either case I wouldn't hold your breath for someone to do something as big as banning activities to deal with it. If energy crises work like other crises, expect for a few people to try to stop it while not having the ability to make a dent, governments to figure out too late that it's a problem, and some people to resist solutions of any kind even after most of society has realized the problems heading for us.

  12. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Location, Location, Location

    I'm surprised he didn't just add a new internal wall to an existing on-grounds storage facility, making that room smaller, and use the appropriated space for his mining computers. A secret door behind the wall-mounted painting of the Queen would, with an appropriate ladder, provide him access when needed. But that wouldn't cover up the increased 'leccy bills.

    1. Death Boffin
      Childcatcher

      Re: Location, Location, Location

      This being Massachusetts, a picture of the Queen probably would have brought an additional charge of treason.

  13. wangiu

    I won’t be surprised, will you?

    If Nahas’ boss was aware of the mining operation from inception haha

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: I won’t be surprised, will you?

      The school probably purchased the first mining machine for educational purposes…

  14. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Some people are just brazen!

    Many many years ago, I took over responsibility for a test server farm at a former employers after someone left the company. On one of the test servers I found a pay-per-view porn site that was VERY busy. I suppose I could have informed my superiors of it but I liked the person I was replacing, so I just wiped it and did a full ground-up install. Some people seem to think that doing such things is "sticking it to the man" but I've always seen it as fraud and theft, and we all end up paying for that one way or the other. Why he left it running when he left I have no idea. I assume it had been running for some time and he forgot about it. I would imagine he heard about it from his paying customers though when it got cut off abruptly, that is if they had any way to contact him. I also never queried our IT staff as they must have known about high bandwidth usage outside of normal working hours. From my point of view, I simply didn't want to be associated/involved with it in any way, so FDISK/MBR was the order of the day.

    1. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Some people are just brazen!

      I had this happen once but it was the result of the server being compromised, not the direct result of a previous employee's actions. Like you I just wiped it and moved on. I figured if I reported it I was risking a three-letter agency showing up and confiscating all our gear as evidence, which would have put us out of business.

  15. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

    Amatures!

    Why set something up where someone could find it and see the giant power bill!

    Just search source code on GitHub! There is a treasure trove of clear test AWS access keys. Collect a lot of keys (many have global admin access). Set up a miner, run it for 30 says, shut it down and delete it. Move on to the next account, rinse-repeat! Script the whole thing with Cloud Formation!

    Not that I would do such a thing!

  16. renniks

    Kill em all! (crypto miners that is)

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