Scientists working at a top-secret Russian nuclear warhead facility have reportedly been arrested for allegedly mining bitcoin

In a report from the Interfax News Agency, the suspects are reported to have tried to use one of Russia’s most powerful supercomputers to mine bitcoin at the Federal Nuclear Centre in Sarov.

According to the report, the supercomputer was not meant to be connected to the Internet to prevent intrusion. However, when the scientists attempted to do this the security department’s nuclear centre was alerted.

Tatyana Zalesskaya, head of the research institute press service, said to the news agency that:

Indeed, there was an attempt to unauthorized use of office computing capacities for personal purposes. As far as we know, a criminal case has been instituted against them.

With interest rising in the crypto market more investors are turning to trading in digital currencies such as bitcoin. To purchase one bitcoin it currently costs over $8,600, according to CoinMarketCap. For many, this is a significant amount to pay for one coin; however, considering it has dropped from its all-time high of nearly $20,000 in December, it could now be considered a bargain.

Yet, for those who want to mine their own coins the only way to do that now is to own a computer that has enough power to do so. This could be why the scientists turned their attention to the supercomputer at the Federal Nuclear Centre.

Zalesskaya added:

Similar attempts have recently been registered in a number of large companies with large computing capacities, which will be severely suppressed at our enterprises, this is technically a hopeless and criminal offense.

The Federal Nuclear Centre employs up to 20,000 people with its supercomputer boasting a capacity of 1 petaflop, the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second. During Stalin’s rule, in the Cold War, the USSR’s first nuclear bomb was produced at Sarov.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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