Report: National Science Foundation researcher banned after mining bitcoin with supercomputer

Home » Report: National Science Foundation researcher banned after mining bitcoin with supercomputer
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CoinDesk reports that an unnamed researcher working with the National Science Foundation (NSF) has been barred from working with the program after it was revealed that the researcher had been using federally funded supercomputers to mine bitcoin. According to a March report by the NSF Office of Inspector General (OIG), the researcher used more than $150,000 of time on the machines to mine as much as $10,000 in BTC.

According to the OIG report:

The researcher asserted that he was conducting tests on the computers, but neither university had authorized him to conduct such tests — both university reports noted that the researcher accessed the computer systems remotely and may have taken steps to conceal his activities, including accessing one supercomputer through a mirror site in Europe. … The researcher’s access to all NSF-funded supercomputer resources was terminated. In response to our recommendation, NSF suspended the researcher government-wide.

CoinDesk reports that such abuses are actually on the rise, citing the well-reported case of a Harvard researcher using the university’s 14,000 CPU cluster research computers to mine Dogecoin. Another high-profile case involved an attempt by Iowa State University students to install bitcoin-mining malware on the campus network. In both cases, there were few details about the amount of cryptocurrency mined from the university machines.

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