Russian Accused of Hacking Public Servers to Mine Bitcoin Faces up to Five Years in Prison

A 21-year-old Russian from the Siberian city of Kurgan is facing criminal charges for illegally mining Bitcoins (BTC) via government-owned servers, local news agency Ura.Ru reports Tuesday, October 16, citing the regional office of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

The investigation found that the man hacked public administration servers in three Russian regions. The breach was discovered when the Internal Security Division in the city of Yaroslavl noticed the intruder’s attempt to hack their equipment.

The alleged hacker was then charged with deliberate use of software that “neutralizes” a computer’s network defense “out of self-interest.” Under this article he could face up to five years in prison, if found guilty.

As Cointelegraph previously wrote in a review of illicit mining cases, stealing or illicitly receiving electricity then used to mine is often the crime punished by prison terms, rather than the mining itself. For instance, in South Korea this April, police arrested miners who purposely rented out factories and chicken farms to receive electricity for substantially lower rates.

Further, in another case in the U.S. state of New York this March, local authorities asked miners to cease their work after residents of one town filed an official complaint to the police for the excessive usage of low-cost electricity by local miners.

More recently, this month a Chinese man was reportedly sentenced 3.5 years in jail for stealing electricity from a train station to fuel his Bitcoin mining facility. In addition to the prison sentence, he was also fined 100,000 yuan (around $14,500).