Bitcoin mining plot run by Russian researchers exposed

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  • The nuclear scientists were working at a top-secret Russian nuclear warhead facility
  • Several scientists were arrested for using a supercomputer to mine cryptocurrencies
  • Officials said it was an unsanctioned attempt to use computer facilities for private purposes

MOSCOW, Russia – Russia said that it has put an end to a massive Bitcoin mining plot involving several scientists missing a top-secret facility.

According to the press service of Russia’s Federal Nuclear Centre, Russian security officers arrested several scientists working at a top-secret Russian nuclear warhead facility allegedly for mining cryptocurrencies.

Local reports in Russia stated that the suspects had tried to use one of Russia’s most powerful supercomputers to mine Bitcoins.

Western Russia, Sarov based Federal Nuclear Centre, which is a restricted area said through its press service, “There has been an unsanctioned attempt to use computer facilities for private purposes including so-called mining.”

Officials stated that the supercomputer was not supposed to be connected to the internet – to prevent intrusion, however, when the scientists attempted to do so, the nuclear centre’s security department was alerted. 

The Russian news service Mash said that those arrested were handed over to the Federal Security Service (FSB).

The press service said in a statement quoted on the Interfax news agency, “As far as we are aware, a criminal case has been launched against them.”

The report explained that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin do not rely on centralized computer servers. 

Further, people who provide computer processing power to the cryptocurrency system, to enable transactions to take place, can get rewards in Bitcoins.

Special permits are required for Russians to visit the top-secret town of Sarov, where, during Joseph Stalin’s rule, the USSR’s first nuclear bomb was produced in the Cold War.

Reports have pointed out that Russia is becoming a hotbed of cryptocurrency mining because of its low-cost energy reserves.