Ukraine Security Service Shuts Down Illegal Crypto Mining Farm With 3,800 PS4 Consoles

The Ukrainian security service SBU has closed an illegal crypto mining farm in the city of Vinnytsia. Cryptominers there used an abandoned warehouse and tapped power from the city’s electricity grid to mine cryptocurrencies.

According to the SBU, the mining farm was located in a former building of electricity company JSC Vinnytsiaoblenerho. The perpetrators thereby illegally used the electricity network of that company. According to the authorities, the monthly costs would amount to a maximum of 7 million Ukrainian hryvnia, converted about 215,000 euros.

According to the SBU, the mining farm consisted of 5000 hardware parts, which were used for mining cryptocurrencies. The SBU occupies this hardware. The components include, for example, 500 video cards and 50 processors, the SBU reports. It is striking that there were also 3800 PlayStation 4 consoles with an internet connection in the crypto mining farm, Tom’s Hardware also writes. That suggests that these consoles were used for crypto mining, although the SBU does not confirm this.

CPUs and video cards are regularly used for crypto mining, but the use of PS4 consoles is unusual. The PS4 is equipped with an x86 CPU with eight AMD Jaguar cores. The regular PlayStation 4 has a GPU with 18 compute units and 8GB GDDR5 memory with a bandwidth of 176GB/s. This gives the video card an fp32 computing power of 1.84TFlops. The Pro variant has an extra GPU and faster memory, which is good for an fp32 computing power of 4.2TFlops.

In theory, using this hardware for crypto mining is possible. However, no concrete evidence has surfaced that such consoles are actually used for mining cryptocurrencies. Modders have used a Nintendo Game Boy and Commodore 64 for this task before.

The mining farm in Vinnytsia. Source: SBU