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Russian nuclear scientists arrested in bitcoin mining plot

10 February, 2018, 04:43 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Russian nuclear scientists arrested for 'Bitcoin mining plot'

A powerful supercomputer located at a Russian nuclear research facility in Sarov was reportedly targeted by a pair of engineers who wanted to use it to mine cryptocurrencies.

Computers at nuclear weapons labs are supposed to be used for things like simulating fusion reactions so countries can have some faith their thermonuclear bombs will work.

The researchers have been handed over to the FSB and a criminal case has been launched against them, according to officials.

That's an terrible lot of computing power to point towards cryptomining, and is likely to outperform the typical dude in his back bedroom who has set up half a dozen graphics cards into his own cryptocurrency mining rig.

It is also meant to be kept a secret.




The first Soviet nuclear weapon was produced in 1949 at the institute, which is in Sarov, a Russian city about 250 miles from Moscow. The city is fence off and heavily guarded by the Russian military, making it next to impossible for unauthorized personnel to enter.

Cryptocurrency speculation and mining have generated so much interest in Russia that one businessman- Alexey Kolesnik-recently bought two power plants in the Russian republics of Perm Krai and Udmurtia to be used exclusively to generate electricity for Bitcoin-mining data centers. When those scientists attempted to connect it to the internet and get their mining scheme rolling, security teams were immediately alerted.

Why did they try to use that particular supercomputer to mine Bitcoins?

When those equations are solved and the transactions are confirmed, coins are released and provided to people who lend their processing power to the process as a reward for helping complete the process. If you find yourself bitten by the Bitcoin bug, it's probably best to leave employer-owned hardware out of your mining ambitions, especially if you work in a field that requires tight enough security that even internet connections aren't allowed.

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