Crypto Mining Gear Seized at Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant

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Crypto miners are an innovative bunch, always looking for sources of energy to power their activities. Mining on your employer’s dime has proved too tempting for some, such as the Chinese school principal caught mining from an empty classroom, the Federal Reserve employee using the Fed’s servers to earn some extra pennies, and bank employees using servers stolen from the IT department to mine crypto in the basement. We can now add another story of unsanctioned overtime to the list after Ukrainian nuclear power plant workers were found to have run a crypto mining operation from the South Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant, SE NAEK Energoatom.

Secret Service Uncovers Crypto Mining Haul

The crypto mining operation was rumbled on July 10 when the Secret Service of Ukraine discovered mining rigs in an administrative wing of the complex, according to Ukrainian news website Illustrating that this was no amateur operation, the haul was pretty comprehensive, including six Radeon RX470 video cards, two risers, four power supplies, three system units (one of them home-made), two switches, a metal bracket containing three further video cards, seven raisers, a motherboard, a USB flash drive, and a hard drive. A metal frame was also removed, on which a motherboard, three coolers, five video cards, a hard drive and two power supplies were mounted. Now that’s some serious gear.

Ukranian Military Gets in on the Act

It seems however that the crypto bug hadn’t just bitten the administrators of SE NAEK Energoatom. Further searches carried out the same day at the premises used by military unit 3044 (National Guard of Ukraine) uncovered another 16 video cards, a system unit with the inventory number of the military unit, seven hard drives, two solid-state drives, a USB flash drive, and a router. Other equipment, including fiber-optic cables and media converters were also seized, although these weren’t thought to be part of the mining operation but were still not allowed on the premises.

Potential Prison Sentence?

No information regarding the target cryptocurrency has been revealed, but given that GPU cards can’t be used to mine Bitcoin or Ethereum, an altcoin, or altcoins will have been the target. No information has been revealed about those behind the operation, but there’s a good chance that they’ll end up spending alt season behind bars…or worse.