Microsoft has modified its policy terms to make it clear that mining cryptocurrencies on its online services are not permitted without prior authorization. The upgrade, which is applicable to all users, including Microsoft’s premium subscribers, went into effect this December.
Microsoft Prohibits Crypto Mining
The upgrade forbids users from mining on Microsoft’s online services, primarily those connected to its cloud platform Azure. Mining is the process of verifying and adding transaction records to proof-of-work blockchains.
The following is included in the amended conditions of the universal license that can be found under “accepted use policy” on Microsoft’s website:
Neither customer, nor those that access an Online Service through “Customer”, may use an Online Service … to mine cryptocurrency without Microsoft’s prior written approval.
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This decision brings Microsoft in line with other major companies, such as Google, which restricts the mining of cryptocurrencies on its cloud platforms without prior consent. Mining is prohibited for users on the free tier of Amazon Web Services as well.
Mining Disrupts Services
“Cryptocurrency mining can disrupt or even impair Online Services and its users, and is often associated with unauthorized access to and use of customer accounts,” Microsoft said in an official statement to the media.
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The update was mentioned in a statement distributed to Azure users as one of many steps taken to protect the partner ecosystem, which refers to partner companies that help sign up software clients for Azure’s cloud services.
Mining Malware On The Rise
Microsoft issued a warning to its users about a new malware program designed to mine cryptocurrency that was capable of stealing passwords, removing security measures, spreading through email, and ultimately removing more features designed for human-operated activity.
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The crypto mining malware, which was given the name ‘LemonDuck’, was designed to infect computers running Windows and Linux. It spread across multiple nations, including India, through phishing emails, exploits, USB devices, and brute force attacks.
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