Harvard student caught abusing 14000 core Supercomputer to mine Dogecoin

Harvard student caught abusing 14,000-core Supercomputer to mine Dogecoin

Harvard student caught abusing 14,000-core Supercomputer to mine Dogecoin


A Harvard student has decided to utilize the processing power of a supercomputer to mine Dogecoin. The said supercomputer cluster belongs to Harvard university called Odyssey, which boasts a 14,000-core Intel Xeon architecture with over 10TB of RAM.


According to The Harvard Crimson, a student who remains unnamed at the moment was caught utilizing the Odyssey cluster for mining. A researcher noticed the unusual activity, and soon after reported to the administrator, the operation was discovered to be Dogecoin mining.


Harvard’s Assistant Dean for Research Computing, James Cuff, sent out an email, informing of the misuse and warning others of the consequences of abusing university resources. The unnamed student has been stripped of access to all research computing labs and systems at Harvard.


If you are wondering how profitable it is to utilize a 14,000-core supercomputer to mine Dogecoin, the Odyssey is hashing at around 20MHash/sec. The hashing speed is not really impressive considering the mining operations would mainly be using the CPU power. This speed is almost equivalent to mining with 27 AMD R9 280X GPUs.


Email from Harvard’s Assistant Dean for Research Computing, James Cuff:

Subject: [Hptc-users-list] Policy statement on crypto currency mining and personal for profit campaigns.
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2014 13:22:06 -0500
From: FAS Research Computing Users Group <[email protected]>
Reply-To: [email protected]
To: [email protected] <[email protected]>

Dear all,

I really hate having to send notes like this to our community –
especially one as smart, gifted and talented as you all are, but
anyway here goes…
Yesterday we were alerted to an unfortunate situation by one of our
community members using the Odyssey cluster who spotted an anomaly
with a set of compute nodes.

Long story short, a “dogecoin” (bitcoin derivative) mining operation
had been set up on the Odyssey cluster consuming significant resources
in order to participate in a mining contest.

I do want to also quickly state that Research Computing does not
inspect, examine or look at algorithms and codes that are executing on
the cluster, we respect your science and assume we are all good
citizens. However, in the course of business, or as happened
yesterday, if we are alerted to unexpected behavior we always
investigate the cause of any issue.

So, to put this simply:

Odyssey and Research Computing resources can not be used for any
personal or private gain or any non research related activity.

Accordingly, any participation in “Klondike” style digital mining
operations or contests for profit requiring Harvard owned assets to
examine digital currency key strength and length are strictly
prohibited for fairly obvious reasons. In fact, any activities using
our shared resources for any non scientific purpose that results or
does not actually result in personal gain are also clearly and
explicitly denied.

As a result, and as guidance and as warning to you all, I do need to
say that the individual involved in this particular operation no
longer has access to any and all research computing facilities on a
fully permanent basis.

Don’t let this happen to you.



dr. james cuff, assistant dean for research computing, harvard
university | division of science | thirty eight oxford street,
cambridge. ma. 02138 | +1 617 384 7647 | http://rc.fas.harvard.edu

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