The following is proof that work hours should be devoted to work. Andrei Rybkin, a former Russian nuclear scientist, has been sentenced to three years in prison for mining bitcoin utilizing a plant’s computing power.
Rybkin: Heading to Jail
Aside from serving time behind bars, Rybkin will have to pay a fee of more than $3,000 (about 200,000 rubles) to court authorities. Sentenced on Thursday, Rybkin is one of three people that were potentially involved in an illegal mining network that extracted new bitcoins during the night hours at the Russian plant.
The other two allegedly involved were Andrei Shatokhin and Denis Baykov. Both have received suspended, four-year sentences and are also required to pay penalty fees. All three have been accused of gaining illegal access to the plant’s network and for “propagating viruses.”
Law enforcement claims that the operation could have caused private or sensitive information to leak. Mining could have also led to malware or other software problems within the plant. Court documents allege that the men potentially mined all their bitcoins between May and September of 2017. All three men shared in the profits and are alleged to have caused more than $15,000 in damage to the government plant that hosted their operation.
The problem with bitcoin and cryptocurrency is that they still attract far too many malicious actors. Despite bitcoin’s decentralized properties and noble intent to bring financial independence to its users, the currency is still at the heart of too many ill-advised schemes.
In related news, the city of Johannesburg in South Africa is currently under attack by cyberthieves that have taken the city’s computer networks hostage. The hack began during the early morning hours of October 25. City officials say they received the following message:
All your servers and data have been hacked. We have dozens of back doors inside your city. We have control of everything in your city. We also compromised all passwords and sensitive data such as finance and personal population information.
The thieves say they will not release the networks until their desired ransom of $30,000 in BTC is paid up by city officials. In addition, they are also threatening to release private information they’ve obtained through the region’s administrative website.
Too Many Ransom Demands
In a tweet, city representatives explain:
The incident is currently being investigated by the City of Joburg [sic] cybersecurity experts, who have taken immediate and appropriate action to reinforce security measures to mitigate any potential impacts. As a result, several customer-facing systems – including the city’s website, e-services and billing systems – have been shut down as a precaution.
The attack occurred at around the same time that several banks located throughout the city began incurring Internet problems. Cybersecurity experts say this isn’t a coincidence and are now investigating the matter.