13 Feb 2018

Russian security officers have arrested several scientists working at a top-secret Russian nuclear warhead facility for allegedly mining crypto-currencies.

Bitcoin fever has apparently spread to the highest levels of Russian defense. Several scientists working at top-secret Russian nuclear warhead facility have been arrested for mining Bitcoin while on the job. The scientists are being accused of using one of the country’s most powerful supercomputers to mine the cryptocurrency.

The scientists were working at the Russian Federal Nuclear Center in Sarov. Computers within nuclear facilities are rarely connected to the internet as a preventative measure against hacking. However, on February 8th the scientists apparently logged on in order to cash in on crypto.

“Indeed, there was an attempt to unauthorized use of office computing capacities for personal purposes, including for so-called mining,” says head of the research institute’s press service, Tatyana Zalesskaya, to Russian news service Interfax.

The computational force needed to mine Bitcoin has been rapidly increasing, according to the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index. But with a petaflop of power, the ability to do do one quadrillion floating point operations per second, the scientists perhaps hoped they would be able to make a dent in a suddenly crowded marketplace.

What is Bitcoin Mining

Crypto-currencies like Bitcoin do not rely on centralised computer servers. People who provide computer processing power to the crypto-currency system, to enable transactions to take place, can get rewards in Bitcoins. Source: BBC

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