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Ukrainian police seize 3,800 PS4 consoles used for illegal crypto mining

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The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has uncovered an underground mining farm in Vinnitsa. For the production of cryptocurrency, the enterprise used more than 5 thousand units of computer equipment. Including 3.8 thousand PlayStation 4 consoles.

A typical build for mining cryptocurrency consists of either a lot of video cards on a rack or ASIC miners. But this last cryptocurrency farm discovered by the SBU consisted of a PS4.

PlayStation 4 consoles may not be the most efficient at mining cryptocurrency. But it doesn’t matter if you have more than 3,800 of them.

Until now, PS4 mining not officially documented, but other consoles already modified for Bitcoin mining.

Regulators do not disclose the details of the operation of the crypto farm. So one can only guess about the purpose of the PlayStation 4 consoles.

According to experts, since it was quite difficult to get video cards and ASIC miners, Ukrainian miners took a different approach to mining cryptocurrencies. Miners found a way to find cheap set-top boxes and started mining digital assets. This is the same hardware, found in mining computers, so these consoles allow miners to work. There are the same video cards, the same chips – this is not a new way. It’s just that in the face of a shortage of video cards, miners are trying to use all possible methods to produce digital assets.

Now you can hope that all of these consoles will be up for sale. So, thousands of gamers will finally be able to get their own console for a reasonable price.

Note that this is not the only illegal crypto farm on the territory of the post-Soviet space. So, in the early summer of 2021, a raid took place in Abkhazia. During which eight crypto farms were discovered and closed.

Electricity theft fraud

Law enforcement agencies of Ukraine drew attention to the crypto farm because of the fraud with the theft of electricity from the networks of JSC “Vinnytsiaoblenergo”.

“The activities of intruders could lead to power surges and leave the population without electricity”, writes the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

For the extraction of cryptocurrency, the attackers used the former warehouse of this company. Experts have estimated the monthly damage from the activities of the underground enterprise at 5-7 million hryvnia (186-259 thousand dollars).

It is the largest crypto mining campaign identified in the country to date.

Also, law enforcement officers noted that a criminal case opened on the fact of theft of water, electricity and heat. The cryptomining operation was organized by residents of Kiev and Vinnitsa, which is a three-hour drive from the capital.

The Ukrainian Security Service conducts additional checks

Investigators released images showing a huge production room lined wall-to-wall with steel racks that housed computers and PlayStation consoles.

In addition to the PlayStation 4, the attackers used more than 500 video cards and 50 processors, which were seized by the Security Service of Ukraine during searches on the mining farm and at the addresses of the defendants in the case. Law enforcement agencies carry out additional checks to establish the full circle of persons involved in illegal activities, including among the officials of Vinnytsiaoblenergo JSC.

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