Russian police take 2 into custody for illegal cryptocurrency mining

Another case of illegal cryptocurrency mining surfaces in Russia as police nab two unnamed Russian nationals for allegedly infecting state-controlled computers and using them for mining crypto.

Russia has seen a fair share of cases involving unwarranted cryptocurrency mining. In October, a Russian nuclear scientist misused his workplace resources to mine crypto and costing the institute damages worth over fifteen thousand US dollars ($15,605). Moreover, last year, the Russian police uncovered a massive illegal cryptocurrency mining farm which had set up over six thousand pieces of mining equipment in an unused rubber factory.

Russia is not new to illicit crypto businesses, and biggest crypto scams and some claim that it is partly due to its unclear stance over crypto. In June, the Head of State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, Anatoly Aksakov, pointed out that while the country is tolerant towards people owning Bitcoin from regulated foreign exchanges, it is yet to come to terms with cryptocurrency mining activities. That, he confirmed, is still considered illegal as per Russian legislation.

Illegal cryptocurrency mining – The new normal in Russia

In a recent similar incident, the police have arrested two locals for infecting computers of state-held organizations and using them to mine crypto, local news media Tass confirmed on Monday.

In a press conference held on Monday, the Deputy Director of the National Coordination Center for Computer Incidents, Nikolay Murashov, confirmed the news by stating that the first suspect, a resident of Kurgan, was charged with a suspicion of developing a botnet capable of contaminating the entire nationwide computer network. The second one was arrested for infecting computers at the state-controlled water utility facility, JSC Rostovvodokanal.

Murashov went on to outline a startling fact about how easy it is to mine cryptocurrency illegally. According to him, around eighty percent (80%) of computer’s free power can be utilized to mine virtual coins, all without the knowledge of the user. It is all a part of making some quick bucks as owning a cryptocurrency is usually an expensive affair.

Although it is not yet known which cryptocurrency the suspects attempted to mine, Murashov has urged organizations to exercise greater control over their resources. Mining from companies’ resources could result in a significant decrease in their performance, ultimately leading to a loss for the business. Thus, awareness about cybersecurity is critical at this point; he pointed out.

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