Crypto-mining schemes operate from US school crawl spaces

Crypto-mining schemes operate from US school crawl spaces

A city official was running an illegal cryptocurrency mining operation from a crawl space under a school in the US state of Massachusetts, police say.

Nadeem Nahas, 39, who was Cohasset’s assistant facilities director, pleaded not guilty in court Friday.

He was charged with fraudulent use of electricity and the vandalism of Cohasset High School just outside of Boston.

Crypto is digital currency that can be “mined” by special computer processors.

Due to the heavy computer calculations required to verify transactions, this type of mining consumes large amounts of electricity.

Authorities were first alerted to a potential crypto-mining operation in December 2021, Cohasset Police Chief William Quigley said in a statement to the BBC.

Mr. Quigley said the operation was being run from a remote crawl space that was discovered by his facilities director beneath Cohasset High School.

Several computers were used for the alleged project

“Detectives interviewed the principal, who said that during routine visits to the school he saw electrical wiring, makeshift ductwork and numerous computers that appeared to be out of place,” Mr Quigley said.

Investigators discovered computers in the crawl space, and learned they were being used in a cryptocurrency mining operation that were illegally plugged into the school’s electrical system, police said.

After a three-month investigation, assisted by the US Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security, police identified the suspect as Mr. Nahas.

Mining operations ran from April to December 2021 and cost the high school about $17,500 (£14,600) in electricity, according to court records. By the Boston Globe.

Mr. Nahas worked for the city of Cohasset from January 2021 until he resigned early last year.

The BBC asked the Cohasset Public School District for comment, and was referred to a police statement on the matter.

In a statement shared with CBS News, the district said it cooperated with police during the investigation.

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