Ukrainian Power Plant Worker Detained for Illicit Bitcoin Mining Operation

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has detained a nuclear power plant worker for an illegal bitcoin mining operation, which allegedly could have led to the exposure of the country’s confidential data.

According to a report by local media outlet Telegraph, the unnamed employee stole electricity, including computers from the power plant station to mine Bitcoin.

The SBU discovered the illegal operation during a search at the facility last month wherein they found computer equipment set up for mining operation. 

“A search was carried out which revealed that in one of the storage rooms, which is used for spare parts for auxiliary equipment, a power plant employee had placed his computer equipment for cryptocurrency mining,” the power station added.

In the papers filed with the Central District Court in the city of Mykolaiv, security agents added that the Bitcoin mining activity could have leaked Ukraine’s confidential data.

The security agents admitted that the 2,850-megawatt plant’s security arrangements, which was considered a state secret in Ukraine, could have been leaked when the computer mining software was connected to the Internet.

However, the internal investigation assured that: “the seized equipment had no physical connection to the plant’s local computer network, so reports in the media about a leak of information regarding the physical protection of the nuclear power plant are unfounded.”

Notably, cryptocurrency mining is a costly drain on power since it often requires vast computer servers in order to solve complex puzzles in exchange for virtual currencies.

Based on his illicit mining act, he was demoted and asked to pay back an equivalent amount to the material losses caused by “electricity consumption for personal non-official needs.”

Meanwhile, the details regarding the court case are scheduled for the next trial.

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