Two officials of the Crimean Council of Ministers were terminated after they were caught mining Bitcoin using government computers as of early October 2017. The officials allegedly installed “malicious software” on the government’s server, and programmed more than a dozen computers for the mining of Bitcoin.
At a press conference in Sevastopol, Alexander Akshatin, chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Committee of the Republic of Crimea, has announced that the council’s head of information technology (IT) department, and the department’s head of hardware and technical support were already dismissed.
“They put malicious software on the server of the Crimean government, which opened access to the information stored on it. Concurrently, more than a dozen computers in the basement of the building were also used which gave this same access.”
How the alleged crime was uncovered
According to Akshatin, his committee and the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) discovered the illegal activities of the employees just in time.
He claimed that the two officials could have mined less than one Bitcoin, but were not able to cash it out. He, however, noted that the price of Bitcoin is currently pegged at $4,000, and even half a Bitcoin is already worth some money. He added that the dismissals of the officials will prevent anyone from committing the same illegal act in the future.
“They thought that there was nothing wrong with that. But if we were not on the alert, and some limited information went through this channel, you understand the extent to which this could all turn out. Fortunately, this did not happen.”
State of digital currencies in Crimea
Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev has announced in July that the ministry is planning to circulate virtual currencies in Crimea to boost the arrival of foreign tourists.
Fortune reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Internet Ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev, has proposed the legalization of cryptocurrencies on the peninsula.