A rogue crypto miner, operating in Russia, has allegedly inflicted significant harm upon a local power grid. The crypto miner is accused of absconding with an estimated $225,000 worth of electricity, according to a utility provider.

Interestingly, this incident was reported by the legal periodical Pravo in Russia. The miner purportedly pilfered electricity from the grid in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. This city is nestled within the Sakhalin Oblast, situated in the far-eastern reaches of Russia.

Furthermore, Sakhalinenergo, the power provider in question, disclosed that its personnel stumbled upon an illicitly connected transformer substation on the premises of a construction firm. This underscores the extent of damage wrought by the miner.

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Notably, the malefactor secretly connected cryptocurrency mining rigs to the power grid. These rigs were placed inside two shipping containers. Additionally, the illegal crypto miner created an unauthorized connection to a transformer substation with a 1250 kVA capacity in the Sakhalinenergo network.

Notably, this equipment’s aggregate capacity was approximately “4 million kW/h,” a revelation that emphasizes the audacity of this operation. However, the miner skillfully bypassed metering systems and refrained from declaring their operations.

Evidently, the illicit miner managed to accumulate cryptocurrencies surreptitiously over an extended period. Records indicate that this mining setup remained active “from December 2021 to May 2022.”

The law enforcement authorities have initiated a criminal case against the accused miner, charging them with “causing extensive property damage.” As a consequence of these allegations, the assets belonging to the purported miner were seized promptly.

Russia Energy Sector Waging a Battle Against Unlawful Crypto Miner

Conversely, Illegal cryptocurrency mining activities appear to be proliferating in Russia. Nevertheless, power companies are increasingly vigilant, detecting individuals who endeavor to circumvent metering systems and illicitly appropriate electricity from local grids.

Notably, in the cryptocurrency mining epicenter of Irkutsk, RBC reported last month that power companies had identified a staggering 430 instances of suspected electricity pilferage by illicit crypto miners.

Consequently, these companies estimate that these miners have siphoned off approximately $3.3 million worth of electricity. Remarkably, these illegal crypto farms have been discovered in various locales, including private residences, garages, balconies, high-rise building basements, and even the attic of a psychiatric hospital.

In the Russian Republic of Dagestan, RBC also reported in August that illegal miners had allegedly misappropriated electricity valued at “234,000” during “the first half of 2023.”

Subsequently, similar occurrences have been documented, including one in Ukraine late last year and another in China in 2021. Moreover, experts in the field have recently posited that Russia is steadily evolving into a prominent “crypto mining hub.”

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