Ukranian Crypto Miners Arrested For Putting Nuclear Plant Security At Risk
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has recently arrested the operators of a mining rig at the Yuzhnoukrainsk nuclear power plant facility, Ukranian media sites UNIAN reports. The reason cited was that their equipment was connected to the World Wide Web which posed a significant threat to cybersecurity at the nuclear site.
A local court said confidential data about the plant’s operation has also been leaked online. The plant’s systems were supposed to remain offline. However, in order to successfully mine cryptocurrency, those behind the scheme were forced to install a connection.
Crypto-miners across the globe are attracted to areas with cheap electricity. Even areas like Iceland and Canada have been attractive because of their abundance of geothermal and hydroelectric power respectively.
This story is reminiscent of engineers at the Russian Federal Nuclear Center being arrested for attempting to use one of Russia’s largest supercomputers for Bitcoin mining. Just last year, the Ukrainian state agency responsible for licensing regimes had confirmed that companies mining cryptocurrencies are not required to obtain a license.
This relaxed approached ultimately was a mistake as we saw with the Nuclear Power Plant. Even BRDO noted that not recognizing mining as an economic activity that needs licensing and as a service providing “cryptographic protection of information” is one of the main issues in the local crypto industry.
Entrepreneurs and companies operating in the sector usually try to avoid official registration because of the uncertain legal status of cryptocurrencies and crypto transactions.