Culprits Apprehended In Alleged Icelandic Bitcoin Miner Theft

Icelandic information technology service Advania has confirmed with their security footage that the police have apprehended the right two men for the three burglaries at data centers in Iceland last December and January, local news outlet Visir reported Feb. 21.

Visir had earlier reported that there were three burglaries in total, from a period of Dec. 5, 2017 to Jan. 16., 2018, and that 600 graphics cards, 100 power supplies, 100 motherboards, 100 memory discs, and 100 CPU processors had been taken from a house in the municipality of Reykjanesbær.

The burglars also broke into data centers in municipality of Borgarbyggð, with a total of 600 PCs stolen from both places.

Advania announced that the thieves had broken into a new building under construction in Reykjanesbær in mid-January, but that the building had fortunately been well-covered with security cameras.

Advania told Visir that what was stolen was

not a device that stores data and there was only a financial loss,

but that they cannot specify what kind of equipment was stolen due to the ongoing investigation.

Several of Advania’s data centers are designed specifically for Bitcoin (BTC) mining, and Iceland as a country has become a hotspot for crypto miners drawn to the naturally cold climate and access to renewable sources of energy.

According to local news outlet Ruv, police have been monitoring energy consumption for abnormal increases after the theft, for the stolen computer equipment reportedly can be used to mine BTC, an energy-heavy process. It is not yet known if the equipment still remains in Iceland; Ruv reports that the two men currently in custody have not been cooperative with the police.

The total amount stolen from all three burglaries is estimated at 200 million krónur, or $1,990,000.

Eyjólfur Magnús Kristinsson, CEO of Advania Data Centers, said that either a quarter or a fifth of that total value had been stolen from Advania.

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