Cryptocurrency mining, security and university policy

With the rising value of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero, and its broad coverage in the media, the number of Cornell-owned computers being hacked to process virtual money – usually through phishing attacks – has risen.

Malicious software (malware) is introduced onto the victim’s computer, and the computer’s power is used to compute complex math problems to obtain cryptocurrency. This highly disruptive process is called “mining” and causes the computer to slow down.

Protect yourself and the university by keeping your computer up to date on software patches, and watch out for phishing emails and suspicious websites or web ads. Get tips on what to do or ask your department’s information technology support provider or the IT Security Office.

And if you’re considering using a university computer to mine cryptocurrency for a reason that isn’t part of university-sanctioned coursework or research projects, be aware that University Policy 5.1 prohibits this.

Media Contact

Lindsey Knewstub