Russian Engineers Caught Using Government Supercomputers to Mine Bitcoin

Employees of the Russian Nuclear Center in Sarov have been caught using the facility’s supercomputer to mine Bitcoin.

The two engineers managed to connect the offline machine to the internet, applying its’ vast computational power to the Bitcoin network. However, it appears to pair did not get far.

The RFNC-VNIIEF press-service announced that the operation had been “timely suppressed”, with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB)  immediately beginning investigations after picking up unauthorized data from the device. No information was provided regarding the number of bitcoins successfully mined, or the identities of the accused.

The offenders will face criminal charges, according to the Russian source. Due to the institution’s government connection the pair will allegedly be accused of “state-treason”, although no information is available regarding the punishment this charge may imply.  Allegedly they have been released from detention on the condition that they stay within the country.

Tatyana Zalesskaya, head of the research institute press service, spoke with the Russian source, stating that this was not the first occurrence of such a case:

“Similar attempts have recently been registered in a number of large companies with large computing capacities” Source