Illegal Crypto Farm was also exploiting characters from FIFA 21
When we reported that Ukraine’s security service had shut down “a cryptocurrency mining farm” that stole electricity directly from a nearby power station and seized dozens of processors, hundreds of graphics cards and 3,800 PlayStation 4 Slim game consoles, we knew something was wrong since mining on PS4 Slim didn’t really seem like a good idea. We were right because apparently the farm was actually used to obtain rare characters in FIFA 2021.
As the images from the SSU show, Sony’s PlayStation 4 Slim game consoles contained game discs, which you don’t need when you want to mine Ethereum or Bitcoin. Ultimately, the game in question was FIFA 21 and the farm was used to earn in-game currency and / or obtain rare characters. Farmers could then sell those accounts for cash, according to Delo.ua (via 3DNews).
Like many other sports games these days, FIFA 21 has an Ultimate Team mode that theoretically allows players to build a dream team of players using lootbox cards. Loot Boxes can be purchased using in-game currency or for real money. The caveat is that the chance of getting a really powerful character is less than 1%, so it’s possible to spend a ton of money and not get a decent player. Meanwhile, getting in-game currency takes a long time as it requires a lot of work (doing repetitive tasks).
Grinding is apparently what these PC and neural network controlled PlayStation 4 Slim systems were supposed to do to earn in-game currency. Then the authors could either sell accounts filled with in-game currency to people who wanted to. try their luck and get a rare player by buying lootboxes, or try to win these rare characters themselves in order to sell him for a lot of money. . Selling in-game currency isn’t too lucrative, but trying to get a rare character is difficult. Considering that they had free electricity, even playing the lottery could make financial sense for them.
With 500 graphics cards available and free power, the same farm could also mine Ethereum. Meanwhile, the same 500 graphics cards could control characters from other games to train them, get in-game currency, and / or lootboxes. Either way, it looks like we’ve seen a pretty diverse operation that could be used for both cryptocurrency mining as well as game character cultivation – whichever was more profitable.