The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) last month discovered unauthorized computer equipment at the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Station near the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk in the Mykolaiv province.
Investigators found that workers, possibly with assistance from some of the National Guard troops that protected the facility, were running a cryptocurrency mining operation. They were not using plant equipment — they took their own mining rigs into an administrative building — but they were using the organization’s electricity network to power their devices.
Cryptocurrency mining equipment requires a lot of power and entities involved in these types of activities often look for locations with inexpensive electricity.
In addition to stealing electricity from the power plant, the individuals responsible for the operation connected their equipment to the organization’s intranet and to the internet, which reportedly led to the exposure of classified information about the facility’s physical security. This type of information is said to represent a state secret.
Investigators uncovered video cards, switches, storage devices, power supplies, motherboards, and cables and other accessories in the room from where the operation was run.