Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Bitcoin heist: thieves in Iceland steal 600 cryptocurrency mining computers

Bitcoin heist: thieves in Iceland steal 600 cryptocurrency mining computers Bitcoin heist: thieves in Iceland steal 600 cryptocurrency mining computers
Nellie Chapman | 06 March, 2018, 00:48

The thieves stole over 600 powerful servers created to mine bitcoin, along with 600 graphics cards, 100 processors, 100 power supplies, 100 motherboards and 100 sets of computer memory. Police commissioner Olafur Kjartannson, who works in the southwestern Reykjanes region where two of the thefts took place, said they were "on a scale unseen before".

The local police of Iceland which has been tracking this theft is now tracking and monitoring the electric consumption across the country with the hope that they can be traced somehow, said an anonymous source familiar with the matter.

Authorities reported that three of the four burglaries took place in December, while the fourth took place in January - although all incidents were not made public earlier as they hope to track down the perpetrator. "Everything points to this being a highly organised crime", he told the Associated Press.

The stolen computers are collectively worth around $2m (£1.5m) and were used to solve complicated algorithms in order to generate more coins in virtual currencies, the AP says.

The local media is calling it the "Big Bitcoin Heist".

Eleven people have been arrested in relation to the theft, including a security guard at one of the locations equipment was stolen from, although most of it hasn't yet been found. Last week, a Reykjanes District Court ruled that two of the people should remain in custody.

Police have asked energy firms to monitor unusual energy usage that may be caused by Bitcoin-mining activities by the stolen servers.

Iceland, thanks both to its cheap geothermal electricity supplies and its colder temperatures, has become a large center for bitcoin mining.

Do you think the police in Iceland will find the stolen computers?