Mining for cryptocurrencies can be considered as an expensive proposition — albeit less so if the miners just go ahead and choose to steal 600 powerful computers to do it for them.
That is exactly what eleven people in Iceland are accused of doing after a huge number of specialised computers were boosted last December and January from various data centres in the island nation. NBC News reports, which notes that while the authorities have already identified and arrested the individuals that they believe are held responsible for the said heist, the stolen computers are still unaccounted for.
And while the computers are estimated to be worth approximately $2 million, the real reward for these crypto thieves may come in the form of bitcoins, which are considered to be less tangible compared to old-fashioned cash. That is because the computers — if able to be put back to work — could be utilised to generate the digital coins that are worth more than $11,000 each at the time of this writing.
NBC News reports that Olafur Helgi Kjartansson, a Reykjanes police commissioner as saying: “This is a grand theft on a scale unseen before.” He stated: “Everything points to this being a highly organized crime.”
Prominently, this was not a single, large-scale heist that has the style that is like that of Ocean’s Eleven. Rather, it was actually various burglaries that took place at numerous different locations. Two of the crimes went down on the aforementioned peninsula of Reykjanes.
Cryptocurrency is usually the target of criminals — various hackers steal it all the time — however, the mining computers themselves have not usually presented the same easy prize. After all, breaking into physical buildings in order to steal physical goods is an entirely different proposition as compared to operating an online scam.
That apparently did not stop the 11 individuals that were pegged by Icelandic authorities as being involved in the heist.