Nuke engineers busted trying to mine cryptocurrency on supercomputer

Nuke engineers busted trying to mine cryptocurrency on supercomputer

A group of nuclear engineers at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics clearly agree: an unknown number of engineers at the Russian Federation Nuclear Center facility were busted stealing some of that computer's cycles to mine an undisclosed cryptocurrency, as Ars Technica writes, citing Russia's Interfax News Agency.

The supercomputer the scientists allegedly used was actually not supposed to be connected to the Internet at all, as a security precaution. "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. It probably made sense for the geniuses to attempt to mine Bitcoin using the most powerful computer they could find.

Sarov is part of the heart of Russia's nuclear operations. "As far as I know, a criminal case has been opened regarding them", she added, without saying how many were detained.

The nuclear center employs about 20,000 people; it's supercomputer can do the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second, the BBC reported.

Crypto-currencies like Bitcoin do not rely on centralised computer servers.

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Up until today, I had no idea what the Federal Nuclear Centre in Sarov was, or that it happens to be the secret factory in Russian Federation that made the first nuclear bomb of the USSR.

Russian Federation is becoming a hotbed of cryptocurrency mining because of its low-priced energy reserves, according to Bloomberg.

The Sarov facility, which is usually called Federal Nuclear Center, is Russia's counterpart to the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

There are suspicions that the radioactive polonium-210 used to kill ex-FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 came from Sarov. But it requires massive amounts of computing power and energy. Multiple people in Russian Federation who had access to one of the country's most powerful computers allowed their curiosity to get the best of them, and they wound up in jail for it.

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