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Galveston ISD workers out of work after cryptocurrency mining machines found near schools

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) – A former Galveston ISD employee is under investigation after school principals found multiple cryptocurrency mining machines on campus.

THE INVESTIGATION BEGINS WITH A DISCOVERY WITHIN AN ISOLATED AREA WITHIN BALL HIGH SCHOOL

Devices found at Ball High School shocked neighbors who wondered why someone put out a wand, cables and a router.

“I think that’s very dishonest and you’ve been working here for years,” said former student Syriaha Smith. “I just want to know what made you do this.”

Superintendent Jerry Gibson will not say who the person is, other than that he no longer works for the district. A few weeks ago, the district’s firewall detected multiple pings that led to the detection of cryptocurrency mining machines in six locations.

“That’s my philosophy,” Gibson said. “They build things on trust. You invest in people’s lives. If you do that and the return on the investment isn’t what you want, it stinks.”

Gibson says no student or faculty information was compromised.

WHAT IS A CYRPTOCURRENCY MINING MACHINE?

Texas Blockchain Council President Lee Bratcher said mining machines are not there to hack, but to help the Bitcoin network. “Miners secure the network and pay for it, being rewarded by the codebase, which is currently 6.25 bitcoin,” explained Bratcher.

The more machines you have, the more money you get. According to Bratcher, $250,000 in rewards will be distributed every ten minutes.

Electricity is needed to drive the machines. “If you’re able to run one of these machines on a facility with a lower power contract, you can be more profitable,” Bratcher explained.

Galveston ISD leaders said the now-former employee does not have permission to set up machines and use school electricity.

GALVESTON ISD MAKES POST-MINING MODIFICATIONS OF EQUIPMENT FOUND IN ISOLATED AREAS

The devices were found in areas where few had access. “If a director has to come in there, they will come in there,” Gibson explained. “We’re going to double-check to make sure every single principal in this district has keys to every lock on their campus.”

Despite the change, the county isn’t finished with its investigation. Even though the employee is gone, he could receive further action. Principals could pass their findings on to prosecutors.

For updates on this story, follow Nick Natario on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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https://abc13.com/galveston-isd-employee-under-investigation-cryptocurrency-mining-machines/11781075/ Galveston ISD workers out of work after cryptocurrency mining machines found near schools

Dais Johnston

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