back to article US charges Singapore coin miner with conning cloud firms out of compute time

A man from Singapore has been indicted in the US for impersonating a game developer in order to steal time on cloud compute systems and mine cryptocurrency. Ho Jun Jia, AKA Matthew Ho, was indicted for eight counts of wire fraud, four counts of access device fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. He could face …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    He burned $5 million in compute time... how much did he make for himself? Which if he's ever extradited to the States, the "time" will be part of the fine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If he was supposed to be mining Bitcoin and Litecoin, not very much as all the compute time he would have used would probably have been the same as a single ASIC.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "If he was supposed to be mining Bitcoin and Litecoin, not very much as all the compute time he would have used would probably have been the same as a single ASIC."

        He'd probably have made more money re-selling access to the stolen CPU cycles at a 50% discount.

      2. NoneSuch Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Here's another example that crime just doesn't pay...

        What? FIVE MILLION!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No devops at the games company ?

      I know our own team would be all over such a high load on our AWS servers like a bad rash.

    3. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      RE: Mark 85

      He made $15, then it went up to $300, then it went down to 17 cents, then up to $20 million, then down again to $2500...

    4. katrinab Silver badge

      I put some random numbers into a random mining calculator, and got $60,000.

      I have no idea how accurate that would be, except that it is a lot smaller than $5m, and I am expecting a lot smaller than $5m, as Amazon cloud services are not optimised for bitcoin mining.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hi Ho Hi Ho, it's off to work I go...

    There's gold in them thar servers!

  3. Nick Kew


    Isn't that for really serious crime? As in, you've killed someone who matters? Or maybe you've nicked something the size of a middling national economy from someone who matters? Or in cybercrime, you've pwned the Pentagon and ransomed the NHS? Or you've ... no, wait, ...

    Is this a step on the road to extraditing someone who upsets Trump on Twitter?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Extradition?

      Depends on whether you have diplomatic immunity or not.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I tested pooled ETH mining on Azure but the returns were very low. I used up my £220 monthly Azure credits on the largest GPU instances and I think I managed 0.01 ETH

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I tested pooled ETH mining on Azure but the returns were very low."

      If someone were to find a way to bulk mine a given crypto currency and saturate the market with easily available crypto coins, their value would be close to zero.

      Saying that, it is important to remember that there are people in the world for whom the value of a crypto currency is zero, has always been zero and will never be anything other than zero.

      1. ma1010 Silver badge

        Hear! Hear!

        To me, crypto currency is as sensible as Tulip Bulb mania, without the bulbs. Criminals seem to like it, though, to receive their extortion payments, so I guess it has a use.

  5. GnuTzu Silver badge


    It's funny how in the early days of hacking into other's computers there was a debate about what if anything was actually being stolen and whether any real damage was done. Now it's very clear that bitcoin miners are very clearly running up electrical bills. It seems that now that we all have computers and have so much of our lives invested in them that the old debate is, um, no longer much of a debate.

  6. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I know this is wrong but...

    I can't help thinking there is a sort of justice to a small shark feeding off the bigger ones.

    1. GnuTzu Silver badge

      Re: I know this is wrong but...

      Interesting, you mean predatory corporations should have parasites.

      O.K. so how do we get the parasites to be so discriminating?

      I admit it's a tantalizing idea, but it makes my conscience queasy--but only a teensy bit.

  7. JimC

    When you consider bitcoin

    and its hideous, obscene energy consumption, its facilitation of fraud, and all the other darknesses scattered in its wake, could it be that the invention of bitcoin ranks as one of the most evil acts in IT history that wasn't actually illegal?

  8. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    I wouldn't say it is evil

    but it is and alway was a fantasy and like all fantasy was born with the possibility of turning dark very quickly. All that energy burnt threw because some people are too paranoid to accept that "trust no one" (while trusting all sorts of arbitrary things) is not a formula for a healthy world.

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