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Russian Scientists Arrested for Using Nuclear Weapon Facility to Mine Bitcoins

bitcoin-mining

Two days ago when infosec bods claimed to have uncovered what’s believed to be the first case of a SCADA network (a water utility) infected with cryptocurrency-mining malware, a batch of journalists accused various other authors of producing fear-mongering headlines, taunting of which the next headline could be about cryptocurrency-miner detected in a nuclear plant.

of which seems of which currently they have to run a story themselves with such headlines on their website because Russian Interfax News Agency yesterday reported of which several scientists at Russia’s top nuclear research facility had been arrested for mining cryptocurrency with “office computing resources.”

The suspects work as engineers at the Russian Federation Nuclear Center facility—also known as the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics—which works on developing nuclear weapons.

The center is usually located in Sarov, Sarov is usually still a restricted area with high security. of which is usually also the birthplace of the Soviet Union’s first nuclear bomb.

In 2011, the Russian Federation Nuclear Center switched on a brand new supercomputer using a capacity of 1 petaflop, producing of which the twelfth most powerful inside the globe at the time.

According to Russian media reports, the engineers had tried to use one of Russia’s most powerful supercomputers housed inside the Federal Nuclear Center to mine Bitcoins.

The suspects were caught red-handed while attempting to connect the lab’s supercomputer to the internet, which was supposed to be offline to ensure security, the nuclear center’s security department was alerted.

Once caught, the engineers were handed over to the Federal Security Service (FSB).

“There has been an unsanctioned attempt to use computer facilities for private purposes including so-called mining,” Tatyana Zalesskaya, head of the Institute’s press service, told Interfax news agency. 

“Their activities were stopped in time. The bungling miners have been detained by the competent authorities. As far as I know, a criminal case has been opened regarding them,” Zalesskaya added, without revealing the exact number of employees detained.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) has yet to issue a statement on the arrests as well as criminal charges.

Cryptocurrency has gained tremendous popularity over the past year. Mining just one Bitcoin is usually not an ice cakewalk, as of which requires an enormous amount of computational power as well as huge amounts of energy.

According to media reports, Russia is usually becoming a hotbed of cryptocurrency mining due to its low-cost energy reserves. One Russian businessman, Alexey Kolesnik, reportedly also bought two power stations exclusively to generate electricity for Bitcoin-mining data centers.

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Security Hacks

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