A new study by Vectra, a Cybersecurity firm reveals that a huge number of cryptocurrency mining activities might be taking place in college campuses.
Vectra is company that uses AI to unearth cyberattacks in real time. For this report, they turned their eyes towards the top five industries that mine cryptocurrencies worldwide. This assessment, which is called ‘Attacker Behavior Industry Report’ provides first hand analysis of active and persistent attacker behaviors inside cloud data center and enterprise environments. Vextra gathered the data by examining a wide range of cyberattack detections and trends from a sample of 246 customers with over 4.5 million devices and workloads from 14 different industries.
Students in universities are more likely to perform crypto mining activities as they don't pay for power, the primary cost of crypto mining. Mining activities in college campuses had been in spotlight lately but Vectra are the first ones to crunch the numbers. The most astounding part of the report is the revelation that 60% of all the cryptocurrency mining detected is happening in organizations that provide higher education. No other industry even comes close to this with Healthcare and Finance following higher Education for 2nd and 3rd place with 3% each.
Some universities have already begun clamping down on these practices as top universities like Stanford and ASU already issued warnings to their students to not to misuse university resources for mining cryptocurrencies.
However, not all campus mining activities was done by students. College campuses are chief targets of hackers due to their poor security protocols. They are sitting ducks for even novice hackers who have easy access to mass computational power. Around 85% of the total crypto-jacking attacks have been on higher education institutes.
This is one of the rare cases where Government agencies are ahead of the pack as they are least likely to mine cryptocurrencies, likely due to stronger regulation, infrastructure and oversight.