Russian Engineers Detained for Mining Bitcoin in Secret Nuclear Lab

Scientists use super-powerful-computer, but get caught

by Viko
10 February • 1 min
In News

An undefined number of employees at the Federal Nuclear Center in Sarov, western Russia, have been detained for allegedly using the power of one of the country’s supercomputers to mine Bitcoin, local media reported.

“There was an attempt for unauthorized use of the center’s computing power for personal purposes, including for so-called mining,” a spokeswoman for the institute told Russian news agency Interfax.

The top-secret Federal Nuclear Center is responsible for decisions concerning the development, production, storage, and utilization of nuclear weapons. In 2011, it was equipped with the most powerful supercomputer for the time, with a capacity of one petaflop, which provides for 1000 trillion calculations per second.

The supercomputer has been forbidden to be connected to the Internet for security reasons. But the engineers went online to mine Bitcoin and thus activated the security department and were later arrested by the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Bitcoin mining requires much energy and computational power and miners get rewarded for verifying transactions.