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University servers, computers used for cryptocurrency mining

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Cryptocurrency mining is allegedly being conducted on the main servers of a university campus in Sakarya province, according to a report by the Habertürk daily.

After enduring a slow Internet connection for almost three months, students were unable to learn their exam results through the school’s servers and complained to the administration. Sakarya University, with 90,000 students, launched an investigation and found that the servers have been used for mining cryptocurrencies.

In addition to the main servers, the computers in laboratories and common areas were attached to the system.

Also, a company operating inside the university’s technology park, a trade area attached to the campus that provides additional revenue to the university from rents and commissions, was producing cryptocurrencies, which once led to a technical malfunction in the electrical supply to the school.

While university officials did not release a statement, Habertürk claimed that a criminal investigation would be launched. Prior to the incident, problems had been experienced with the exams of distance education programs that management considered to be only a cyber attack.

A cryptocurrency is digital money, or e-coins, based on blockchain, a cryptography model securing transactions while decentralizing control over them. In 2009 Bitcoin was introduced to the market, and since then over 1,500 e-coins have been invented. Mining a cryptocurrency means solving a mathematical problem that occurs from validating transactions in that cryptocurrency universe. In return, miners gain a bounty in e-coins. While cryptocurrency universes are growing, mining has become more costly and requires more computer power.

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