Cops Raided The Bureau Of Meteorology After Weather Computers Were Used To Mine Cryptocurrency

No wonder the forecast is always wrong.

The forecast is looking a bit grim for two employees at the Bureau of Meteorology who are currently being investigated by the Australian Federal Police for allegedly using their fancy weather computers to mine cryptocurrency.

The cops raided the weather bureau on February 28th, according to the ABC, and questioned two IT workers, one of whom has since gone on leave. No charges have been laid yet, but the investigation is continuing.

“Mining” cryptocurrency, fyi, means making your computer solve a bunch of increasingly difficult equations to be rewarded with Bitcoin, Ethereum, or one of the other hundreds of cryptocurrencies. It’s more complicated than that, but that’s all you need to know to understand why you might want to do this on a work computer: mining requires lots of processing power, and lots of electricity.

The Bureau of Meteorology has both of the above, in particular some pretty powerful computers for complicated climate modelling. There’s no word yet on whether the workers were using the bureau’s supercomputer or just more regular machines, but it wouldn’t be the first time if they had. Just a month ago, a couple of Russian engineers at a nuclear warhead facility were caught connecting a supercomputer to the internet, allegedly to mine bitcoin.

Honestly…it’s probably better than making nukes?

Anyway, let this story serve as your friendly reminder that while mining cryptocurrency is not illegal in Australia, using your work computer for it is going to land you in hot water, especially if your work computer is an extremely expensive supercomputer meant for weather-related tasks. Stay safe, nerds.