According to a Russian news source, the former head of a regional post office in Russia was arrested for illegally mining crypto using the national power grid. In the article, which was published on May 27, a post office worker is accused of causing $427 worth of damage. The police claim that the suspect has been mining crypto using national resources in the post office where he worked since September 2019.
An Ongoing Operation
Investigations revealed that the former head of the post office had been carrying out his activities for six months. During that time, he causes $427 worth of damage, which is around 30,000 Rubles. The report states that he had been charged with abuse of power.
Not the First Time People have Been Caught Mining BTC Illegally
It is not the first time Russian authorities have caught someone misusing state resources to mine crypto. In September 2019, a worker at a Russian nuclear plant was caught using the plant’s powerful supercomputer to mine crypto. The facility is used in research on Russia’s nuclear warhead and the suspect was fined $7,000. Two other employees were implicated in the operation. According to a spokesperson for the facility, the people behind the illegal mining operation had misused national computing power for personal use.
In another report, the police in Russia uncovered a wide network of people who had stolen over $200,000 worth of power monthly to mine BTC. To carry out their operations, the miners used modified power meters, which they used to provide falsified readings. The police conducted over 20 searchers and they found over 1500 units of the special equipment used to mine crypto. Besides that, they found around $28,500 and over 100 electric meters that had been modified. In Ukraine, a railway worker was caught using state power to mine crypto. The report claimed that the worker managed to steal around $40,000 from the state.
Mining Crypto on an Industrial Scale
In other countries, the authorities have been considering using crypto mining as a way to deal with surplus power. For instance, Ukraine is considering using crypto mining as a way to deal with excess power generated during COVID19. It would help to generate an extra income for nuclear plants in the country. However, the plan is still in the early stages of planning and nothing has been passed yet. In New York, there is already an active plan by a nuclear plant. The plant has been using some of its excess power to mine crypto. Thus far, they claim that they produce around $50,000 worth of BTC daily.
Illicit Crypto Mining Growth
It is not clear how many other illegal mining operations are active in the world. However, national and private institutions could soon be forced to install devices that monitor crypto mining. Otherwise, people will continue to benefit from private or public resources without bearing any of the costs. It could even create a new industry where special equipment is installed in buildings to monitor for illegal crypto mining activities. According to a study by the Cyber Threat Alliance, illicit crypto mining saw +459% growth between 2017 and 2018. This is a cybersecurity issue that effects enterprises and individuals. This facilitates from using the processing power from web browsers, IoT devices, computers, mobile devices, and other network infrastructures. The problem with the cryptocurrency infrastructure is that as digital asset values grow, it makes these illicit activities even more profitable. Looking forward, it will be crucial for individuals and enterprises to focus on cyber hygiene.
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