The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) arrested power plant operators who exploited cryptocurrency at the Uznukransk nuclear power plant facility.
The Ukrainian English news website UNIAN reported on the details of the arrest on August 21. According to reports, cryptocurrency miners disrupted the safety of nuclear facilities through the Internet connection of their mining equipment and eventually revealed confidential information on the nuclear power plant physical protection system.
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SBU agents received a search warrant and launched an investigation on July 10. They discovered unauthorized computer equipment and seized a media converter, fiber optic cable and some network cables. On the same day, a branch of the National Guard of Ukraine discovered more cryptocurrency mining equipment at the same nuclear power plant. In this search and seizure, 16 GPU graphics cards, 7 hard drives, 2 SSDs and routers were discovered.
Nuclear engineer tried to mine bitcoin with a supercomputer
According to previous reports, in February 2018, several engineers at the Russian Federal Nuclear Center were arrested for attempting to exploit Bitcoin (BTC), one of the country's largest supercomputers.
According to reports, this computer can execute 1000 trillion calculations per second, and has been disconnected from the Internet for security reasons. Tatiana Zalesskaya, head of the Institute’s Information Service, said at the time:
“Someone has tried to use computer facilities for private purposes without approval, including so-called mining… Technically, this is a hopeless act and should be subject to criminal penalties.”
Nuclear energy and blockchain
In October last year, Russia's national atomic company Rosatom announced that they would develop blockchain technology for the energy sector, as well as Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. Evgeniy Abakumov, head of IT at Rosatom, said:
“We are committed to integrating 4.0 technology on a larger scale. IoT, artificial intelligence, blockchain, etc. are all designed to increase the efficiency of the manufacturing process.”
At the time of this writing, the Russian National Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) reportedly is recruiting new talent to develop energy technologies in these three areas.