Hidden crypto mining farm found in Massachusetts school crawlspace

Cutting corners: Cryptocurrency has fallen on hard times, making it unprofitable for anyone running a mining operation. That is, unless you let someone else pay the utility bills. A Massachusetts man was discovered setting up an illegal mining farm in his former employer’s boiler room crawlspace. The operation reportedly used more than $17,000 in stolen electricity over an eight-month period.

The perpetrator, 39-year-old Nadeam Nahas, was charged in the town of Cohasset, MA, with fraudulent use of electricity and damaging a school. He was indicted after investigations led town officials to a hidden cryptocurrency mine placed in a remote crawlspace next to a boiler room at a Cohasset school. The farm reportedly includes 11 pieces of mining equipment as well as a ventilation system to ensure that the mining equipment does not overheat.

The farm was originally discovered in December, 2021 by Cohasset’s facilities director during a routine school inspection. During the inspection, the director identified duct work, wiring, and several computers that seemed out of place in the rarely accessed crawlspace. The farm was correctly identified as an illegal cryptocurrency mining operation with the help of the city of Cohasset’s director of information technology. Once identified, the couple contacted the authorities to further investigate the unauthorized operation and identify its owner.

Cryptocurrency mining can be performed using everyday computing resources or larger, more powerful specialized equipment designed to increase mining yield and overall efficiency. Based on the images released (above), Nahas runs the mining farm using larger application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), a type of chip designed for completing a very specific operation efficiently and quickly. as much as possible.

Released photo miners typically require a large, server-grade power supply to maintain 24/7 operation. These supplies, which can range from 1200 to upwards of 2600 watts or more per miner, can run up a huge utility bill in a short amount of time. In this case, Nahas was responsible for stealing $17,492 in electricity between April and December of 2021.

Nahas reportedly resigned from his position as Assistant Facilities Director for the town of Cohasset in early 2022. A Massachusetts judge issued a default warrant earlier this week after Nahas failed to appear at his February 23rd arraignment hearing. . Local outlets later reported that Nahas turned himself in to authorities after missing the hearing.

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