4,000 PlayStation consoles used to mine cryptocurrencies illegally were seized

Ukrainian authorities have announced the seizure of thousands of PlayStation 4 video game consoles used for cryptocurrency mining. The Security Service of Ukraine detected this illegal operation in the city of Vinnytsia, specifically in an old warehouse that formerly belonged to the JSC Vinnytsiaoblenergo power company.

During the raid, authorities found nearly 4,000 video game consoles lined up on dozens of metal structures, in what they called the country’s largest illegal cryptocurrency farm. Police also seized more than 500 graphics cards and 50 powerful processors.

The operators of this massive farm would have used this hardware to extract virtual assets in an accelerated way, using an illegal infrastructure to not pay for the electricity consumed. The calculations of the authorities suggest that this operation consumed about $260,000 USD a month that were not paid to the city.

The authorities completed the raid on the warehouse and subsequently began the corresponding procedures to carry out investigations in the residences of the alleged operators of this cryptocurrency farm. The second wave of raids led to the seizure of some schemes for the theft of electricity, laptops, smartphones and external storage devices.

In a statement, the power company JSC Vinnytsiaoblenergo denied any connection with this illicit operation, stating that cryptocurrency mining has never been part of its business activities.

Finally, authorities announced that information about the incident would be updated once it became available, including the publication of sentences for those involved in the operation.

Since the cryptocurrency rush began, these activities have become relatively commonplace. In 2019, China’s government detected hidden wires in fish ponds used to illegally connect a cryptocurrency farm to the power grid. A subsequent investigation using drones detected a Bitcoin farm hidden behind a shed.

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.