Nuclear plant workers in Ukraine caught using “free” energy to mine cryptocurrency

Despite losing some steam in recent times, the cryptocurrency mining craze is still alive and kicking. Ukrainian local media reports that workers at a nuclear power plant have been caught mining cryptocurrency leveraging the electrical power “freely” available to them from the very nuclear plant they worked at.

As the story goes, Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) last month discovered unauthorized computer equipment at the South Ukrain Nuclear Power Station located in the Mykolaiv province, near the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk. The authors reportedly used their own equipment and used the readily-available electricity generated by the nuclear plant to conduct their operation.

The unauthorized hardware included video cards, switches, hard disk drives and solid state drives, various power supplies, motherboards, as well as networking equipment that would have no place in the respective part of the facility. In fact, the reason why the operation is considered such an offense is that the employees in question connected their mining gear to the web and potentially leaked state secrets, according to the report by local news outlet internetua.com.

The machine-translated report states that “the employees of the investigation department of the Security Service of Ukraine in the Nikolaev region are investigating criminal proceedings according to information that officials of the South Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant in the station’s restricted premises unauthorized placed computer equipment with Internet access, as a result of which the information was disclosed about the physical protection of the station, which is a state secret.”

The report doesn’t mention how much cryptocurrency the rogue employees had amassed at the time of their apprehension, nor does it say how many people were involved in the operation, or what consequences await them. However, investigators reportedly found that among the participants in the running were also a number of security guards.

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