Last spring Pärnu Hospital received information that it is involved in a massive virtual money, or so-called bitcoin mining. “Arguably, this was the largest bitcoin miner in the area of Pärnu,” added the source. It turned out that bitcoin mining in the hospital was performed for nearly two years.
It would be interesting to know how the mining was discovered. There is no place in Bitcoin ecosystem where one could list “largest miners in the area of Pärnu”.
The mining was performed by the hospital network administrator and medical technician – they used in total six devices for this purpose. Some of the equipment was placed on the 8th floor in ventilation equipment rooms. The devices had multiple graphics cards, as well as a smaller machine Antminer was running Linux operating system from the SD card. Larger servers using Windows Server 2012 platform also engaged in the extraction of virtual money.
The medical technician was let go but the network administrator was given only a warning.
RIA will now investigate whether bitcoin mining had security implications:
“Based on media coverage, it cannot be excluded that the case could be a security incident,” said Toomas Vaks, Deputy Director General of Information System’s Authority.
The course will consist of a number of seminars given by invited lecturers. Lecturers will be both from the University and from the industry companies. They will present the research results along with the practice best experiences and examples of the application of the blockchain and smart contract technology.
3.October, 10:15-12:00: Smart contracts and identity on blockchain – using e-Residency in Ethereum, Speaker: Thomas Bertani, Oraclize.it
Regular seminars (Tuesdays 18.15-20.00, Liivi 2-404, Tartu):
25.October: Introduction to Smart Contracts and Applications
Speaker: Kristo Käärmann, TransferWise
1.November: Blockchain as an Enabling Technology for Businesses
Speaker: Frederik Payman Milani, University of Tartu
8.November: Lightweight BPMN engine on ethereum
Speaker: Luciano Garcia Banuelos, University of Tartu
15.November: Cryptographic Foundations of Bitcoin
Speaker: Michal Zajac, University of Tartu
29.November: Introduction to KSI blockchain
Speaker: Andreas Sisask, Guardtime
6.December: Creation of Smart-Contracting Collaborations for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations
Speaker: Alex Norta, Tallinn Technical University
Yesterday’s verdict put an end to longstanding doubts whether trades with the cyber money should be treated as economic activity requiring special permit or not – in a landmark stand, Supreme Court declared mediation of Bitcoins an economic activity subject to anti-money-laundering supervision.
Uku Tampere, Police and Border Guard Board press representative:
For ordinary people buying or selling cryptocurrency in occasional transactions for own use, the Supreme Court judgement essentially alters nothing. However, when an individual begins to publicly offer cryptocurrency mediation service, he needs to apply for activity licence and meet the requirements prescribed by Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act.
According to the Police and Border Guard Board, at least two Estonian companies have become victims of the latest cyber-attack, in which they also received an email demanding Bitcoins. The cyber-criminals threatened in the emails that should they not received Bitcoins, more serious attacks will follow.
In both cases, the denial-of-service (DoS) attack was first committed against the official web pages of the respective companies. The businessmen then got an email which specified the account and deadline for transferring the Bitcoins – to avoid a more deadly ambush. According to police representative, the cyber-attack lasted for about an hour. However, the attackers have not carried through their threats, despite the entrepreneurs not giving in to Bitcoin demands. The police have started a criminal investigation.
Took a year for Estonian criminals to try out the business plan.
Its not yet known who is behind the attack and extortion. Similar cases in Estonia have not been seen before, but the rest of the world is familiar and law enforcement agencies in various countries cooperate to apprehend the criminals. The extortion letters are sent by organized criminals who call themselves “DD4BC”.
Searching by “DD4BC” shows that in the last months several organizations in various countries have received Bitcoin extortion letters from group calling themselves DD4BC. However, these might as well be Estonian criminals going under DD4BC handle.
They warned the mediator that in case anyone operates in said area without licence, this could spell violation as treated by Penal Code come under activity without licence. Following the correspondence, Fiscal Intelligence Unit issued a precept in which they demanded data to determine if the person came under Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act.
«He contested the precept and meanwhile our goal was to get him to give the data and say whether he had deals exceeding €1,000. With this we are now in court and we won at first instance,» explained Mr Paul.
Representative of mediator Priit Lätt said Fiscal Intelligence Unit had no right to require the data.