Cryptocurrency Mining Using a Nuclear Power Plant was an Epic Fail

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According to a recent court case, an individual with top access at the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant attempted to hide mining machines in the site’s administrative buildings. Authorities raided the building and stopped the operation last month.

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A strange story is coming out of Ukraine over a foiled cryptocurrency mining operation at one of the country’s many power plants.

Hidden Mining Operation

RT is reporting that a high-level worker at the plant was siphoning electricity from the local grid to mine cryptocurrencies. The base of operations was set up in the administrative building of the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant and the mining network was hooked up the nuclear plant’s intranet.

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On July 10th, authorities raided the building and seized equipment, including six AMD Radeon RX470 graphics cards and other supplies. The individual in question was likely mining some altcoins which are ASIC resistant since the equipment was too weak to mine Bitcoin. What’s worse is that the thief was also spoiling state secrets with the mining operation. The plant’s security arrangements are not public knowledge.

A Growing Trend

Luckily, the mining operation was a small one. None of the plant’s equipment was hijacked and the nuclear material was not compromised in any way. However, Ukrainian authorities are likely keeping a tighter watch on government workers mining cryptocurrency in the aftermath of this case.

The report bears resemblance to an equally-strange story which emerged from Russia in 2018. At the Federal Nuclear Center in Sarov, several Russian scientists were utilizing the facility’s in-house supercomputers to mine cryptocurrencies. The facility hosts the twelfth most popular system in the world, and the scientists even attempted to connect these computers to the internet which could have easily compromised state secrets. The plan was foiled with criminal proceedings for those involved.

What do you make of this strange story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below. 

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Raised in the U.S, Lucian graduated with a BA in economic history. An accomplished freelance journalist, he specializes in writing about the cryptocurrency space and the digital '4th industrial revolution' we find ourselves in.

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