The Secret Service of Ukraine (SBU) is conducting a new investigation into what would be a possible security breach in a nuclear power plant, whose network some employees would have used to mine cryptocurrencies. Installations of this type are suitable for purposes of this type, although connecting such an installation to a connection not controlled by the user may not be the best idea.
It is unknown how they discovered the situation, but the SBUI has confirmed that equipment built specifically for cryptocurrency mining from the plant was used.
Concern for access to sensitive data of the central
The Ukrainian authorities acted in front of the incident in July, at a nuclear power plant in the south of the country, near Yuzhnoukrainsk. Weeks before, it was detected a sudden rise in the price of cryptocurrencies, which caused the authorities to jump.
After the intervention, they found various equipment oriented to cryptocurrency mining, among which were some that had up to six Radeon RX 470 graphics cards working in parallel. As we anticipated, the machines connected to the internet through unsecured channels, something that could have created a security breach in the nuclear power plant.
In addition to the accusation of undermining cryptocurrencies illegally, defendants could face charges of violating state secrets
Employees have been charged for their participation in cryptocurrency mining, although there have been no arrests at this time. Similarly, it is being investigated if there was violation of state secrets, since there is the possibility that the nuclear plant network has been entered to gather information about their defenses and physical protections.
A surprisingly common practice
As we read on ZDnet, this is not the first time an incident of this nature happens. In February 2018, in Russia, the use of a nuclear power station computer was detected for these purposes, and in Australia, a quite similar case arose in a meteorological office.
The large consumption demanded by mining practices means that such infrastructures are authentic "treats" for miners. Countries like Iran have increased electricity consumption by 7% due to these practices and, as we already have, platforms such as Bitcoin are a real energy disaster.
Via | ZDnet
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