College students mine cryptocurrency in dorm rooms; free electricity makes it lucrative
Mining bitcoin can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000, depending on the state and the cost of electricity prevalent in that area
August 13, 2018 / 06:09 PM IST
College students in the US are reportedly mining cryptocurrencies in their dorm rooms to pay off their student loans, albeit covertly.
According to a study by cybersecurity company Vectra, about 60 percent of mining traffic in the US originates from computers with IP addresses linked to colleges and universities.
This means students are using free electricity in their dorms for mining cryptocurrencies.
Mining consumes about 215 kilowatt-hours of energy for each transaction. Experts say that the total energy consumption of the bitcoin network could equal the amount of electricity used to light two million US homes.
Despite it prohibition across the universities in the US, the number of students who resort to crypto mining is increasing, the rise can particularly be attributed to the boom in bitcoin price since 2017.
Mining bitcoin can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000, depending on the state and the cost of electricity prevalent in that area.
However, it is not always the fault of the students, as hackers who are not part of the university can target students and use their computer power to execute the proof of work and rake in the profit.
Such episodes of hacking might go unnoticed for a long time, as it is difficult to keep track of such hidden malpractices.
Cryptocurrency mining malware has been on the rise, according to security company McAfee chief technology officer Steve Grobman.
"Cryptocurrency mining is an optimal form of cybercrime across these vectors when compared to data theft and ransomware," Grobman said.