Russian nuclear scientists arrested in bitcoin mining plot


During the Cold War, the USSR's first atomic bomb was produced at Sarov. But I know that now because some of the engineers working there were arrested after they tried to use the facility's supercomputer to mine Bitcoin.

"There has been an unsanctioned attempt to use computer facilities for private purposes including so-called mining", the center's press service told the BBC. The supercomputer is not supposed to be connected to the internet, which was the scientists' undoing-once they attempted an online connection to mine cryptocurrency, an alert was sent to the facility's security department, which in turn contacted the Federal Security Service (FSB).

The remarks, which didn't provide further details about the case, came in response to reports on social media on Thursday saying the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) had busted two nuclear engineers.

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Russian Federation is becoming a hotbed of cryptocurrency mining because of its low-priced energy reserves, according to Bloomberg.

Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, said in a phone interview that the issue touched on numerous security-related concerns, some of which were compounded by the fact that cooperation between the United States and Russian Federation over its stocks of nuclear materials - the largest in the world - had ended over the past few years.

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

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There are about 20,000 people employed at the facility now.

Mining crypto-currencies requires great computational power and huge amounts of energy. But there have been numerous other attempts recently in Russian Federation to harness corporate and industrial computer systems for illicit cryptocurrency mining as well.

The town is surrounded by a tightly guarded no-man's-land, with barbed wire fences to keep the curious away. BBC News reported that the culprits were mining "Bitcoin".

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