Harvard Supercomputer Highjacked to Mine Cryptocurrency

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Odyssey Cluster at Harvard

Odyssey Cluster at Harvard

Over at the Harvard Crimson, Theodore R. Deliche writes that an unidentified user managed to commandeer the university’s Odyssey supercomputer last week for the purpose of mining Dogecoin, an open source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency.

John C. Lo ’16, who has mined bitcoins in the past, said that after investing in standard, personal computing resources for crypto-mining, it would “take quite some time” for a miner to turn a profit. However, he noted, if a miner were to use a high-powered network maintained by a university, like Harvard’s Odyssey cluster, there would be few, if any, overhead costs.

Odyssey is a 14,000 core Linux cluster used primarily for science and technology research, made up of mainly Dell PowerEdge M600 servers. However, making use of it for Dogecoin mining could potentially be a lucrative enterprise. Despite this potential, it’s unclear how much money was mined in the operation or how long it lasted. It’s safe to say, however, that the culprit will have a hard time cashing the Dogecoins in.

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