Eleven suspects have been arrested, but the computers are nowhere to be found.
Old school theft meets new age technology
Iceland is considered a crypto-mining paradise due to its cheap supply of renewable energy and huge data centre industry. And while most take advantage of their benefits, nobody could have foreseen anyone would take advantage of data centres in this manner.
A big heist has been instigated against the cryptocurrency industry, but this time they stole the actual hardware themselves.
Cryptocurrency theft has become rampant throughout the years. But while most thieves target the cryptocurrencies themselves and prefer to move under the safety veil of the digital sphere, this heist separates itself due to its boldness and the physical audacity required to pulling it off. It took four separate burglaries between December and January to make off with the loot which included 600 graphic cards, 100 power supplies, 100 processors, 100 motherboards, and a whopping 600 mining computers—which on their own are worth over $2 million.
Police say this is one of the biggest strings of burglaries in Iceland. “This is a grand theft on a scale unseen before,” police commissioner Olafur Helgi Kjartansson says. “Everything points to this being a highly organized crime.”
Houdini, where’s the body?
So far, 11 suspects have been arrested including a security guard, but the hardware devices have not been found. Authorities are now monitoring power usages in the country in an effort to detect suspicious mining activity that could possibly lead them to the location of the stolen items. They are also calling on internet service providers, electricians, and storage spaces to report any service requests that may be consistent with storing, installing, or using the stolen hardware.
They suspect that the thieves will use the hardware, since there is more long-term profit in mining than selling the actual hardware themselves. Although with the police going public about monitoring electric consumption, the thieves may just get cornered into selling the items instead.