An ABC IT worker dragged his outfit into a virtual currency making scam by wiring up the servers to mine for online cash.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the bloke used ABC’s audience and internal systems to mine for “Bitcoins”, which are a peer-to-peer virtual currency, by installing “Bitcoin miner” on ABC’s servers.
When the computers were idle, they were using their computer processing power to generate Bitcoins, which can be exchanged for cash.
ABC’s head of corporate communications, Sandy Culkoff, told AP that there was a serious misconduct case underway.
Bitcoins are the first serious attempt at creating a global, untraceable currency that is controlled by no government and has no central bank. However the currency collapsed when a hacker stole 25,000 Bitcoins worth $500,000 from someone’s account using specially designed malware.
MtGox, which bought and sold Bitcoins was hacked, exposing all users’ email addresses and passwords. A Bitcoin is only worth one US cent these days.
You earned Bitcoins by using idle computer processing power. Batches of intensive calculations are carried out in the same way that the SETI project tried to find aliens.
What it appears happened in the ABC case was that the IT worker created a botnet to earn lots of cash from Bitcoins.