Employees of a nuclear power plant used it to mine cryptocurrencies

Nuclear plant, cryptocurrencies

When it comes to cryptocurrencies, generally a lot of the news that is released They are associated with illegal mining, either by taking advantage of operating system failures to be able to leave a backdoor and take advantage to mine cryptocurrencies, also the cases of the use of the web browser with malicious plugins or with javascript.

However now the case was released, which is quite particular as the Ukrainian English-language news site UNIAN reported details of an arrest on August 21. According to his article, employees have compromised safety at the second nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine by connecting part of the internal network to the Internet for cryptocurrency mining.

The Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU) considers the incident a possible breach of state secrets due to the classification of nuclear power plants as critical infrastructure.

They did not disclose many detailsyes, but local media report that on July 10, the SBU raided the nuclear power plant, where it seized computers and equipment designed specifically for mining.

Of the confiscated equipment that was found in the administrative offices of the plant and not in its industrial network.

The confiscated equipment included two metal suitcases containing basic computer parts, but with additional power supplies, coolers, and video cards. According to court documents, one of these cases contained six Radeon RX 470 GPU video cards and the other contained five.

In addition, the SBU also found and seized additional material that resembled cryptocurrency mining equipment in the building used as a barracks by a military unit of the Ukrainian National Guard to monitor the power plant.

Several employees were accused of participating in the scheme. It is not known whether any member of the military has been charged. Officials believe that the suspects have mounted this scheme due to the recent surge in the price of cryptocurrency transactions, after a long period of decline.

Fortunately, criminal activity seems to have been relatively modest and did not result in a diversion of factory equipment, which would have compromised safety (It leaves us thinking of a Chernobyl 2.0).

Instead, implemented several computers that were adapted to the type of calculation required for mining of cryptocurrencies in one of the administrative buildings of the factory, diverting electricity from the local grid, according to court documents cited by local media.

In addition to the apparent intention to divert electricity and internet resources for cryptocurrency mining, the SBU is also exploring other avenues.

One of them is whether mining rigs could have been used to access the network in order to steal classified security data related to the nuclear power plant.

Several engineers from the Russian Federal Nuclear Center have been arrested for trying to use one of the largest Russian supercomputers for bitcoin mining

Tatiana Zalesskaya, head of the press service of the research institute, said

"To her knowledge, a criminal case was opened against the engineers, as there was an unauthorized attempt to use computer facilities for private purposes, including the so-called cryptocurrency mining ... which is a criminal activity."

The center's supercomputer, with a capacity of 1 petaflop (1000 trillion calculations per second), I was not connected to the Internet for security reasons. When the engineers tried to put it online to use its mining power, the security department identified it and was able to stop the engineers.

It is well known that the exploitation of cryptocurrencies consumes energy and apparently for detained people working near a nuclear reactor and using their equipment would go unnoticed.

But in the end the Ukrainian secret service detected the activity and put an end to the illegal cryptocurrency mining operation by verifying the second largest nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.

Source: https://www.unian.info/

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  1.   Mac said

    The Burns nuclear plant, where Homer Simpson works ... Reality surpasses fiction.

  2.   01101001b said

    And incidentally they kept the cryptocurrencies that these engineers have obtained. Speaking of Homer Simpson ... "national security" my pants 😉

    PS: I find the fatalistic phrase hilarious: "and it did not result in a diversion of the factory equipment, which would have endangered safety (leaves us thinking of a chernobyl 2.0)" hahahaha! It was engineers who made that move, not some whatsoever. Sure they did their good calculations and saw that the supercompu was slack. Of course, understanding nuclear engineering is not a replacement for knowing networking (or they would not have been hooked so easily by connecting to the network 😉