Russian Engineers Arrested for Mining Bitcoin at Federal Nuclear Center


But I know that now because some of the engineers working there were arrested after they tried to use the facility's supercomputer to mine Bitcoin. "There has been an unsanctioned attempt to use computer facilities for private purposes including so-called mining", said Tatyana Zalesskaya, head of the Institute's press service.

That's even more enticing if you have one of the world's most powerful computers at your disposal, for free.

The supercomputer was not supposed to be connected to the internet - to prevent intrusion - and once the scientists attempted to do so, the nuclear centre's security department was alerted. The scientists were then handed over to the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Zalesskaya didn't share many details about the incident with the Russian news agency, but she also noted that the recent incident wasn't the first time that employees had been caught using company equipment to mine cryptocurrency. The first USSR nuke was built there, and anyone who wants to enter the city must first receive permission from the Russian government.

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Bitcoin enthusiasts are rewarded lucratively for mining the cryptocurrency with a stash of newly minted cryptographically-signed Bitcoin.

These geniuses - and they must be brilliant people to work at this particular Russian nuclear facility, which employs some 20,000 people - thought they could connect a supercomputer capable of performing 1,000 trillion calculations per second to the internet to mine Bitcoin.

Sarov is surrounded by a tightly guarded no-man's-land, with barbed wire fences to keep the curious away. It's a flawless fit, as mining cryptocurrencies requires great computational power and huge amounts of energy. However, it would be hard to determine how well that power would translate to mining potential. BBC News reported that the culprits were mining "Bitcoin".