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To Protect Its Cloud, Microsoft Bans Crypto Mining From Its Online Services

Saturday December 17, 2022. 12:20 AM , from Slashdot
Microsoft has quietly banned cryptocurrency mining from its online services, and says it did so to protect all customers of its clouds. The Register reports: The Windows and Azure titan slipped the prohibition into an update of its Universal License Terms for Online Services that came into effect on December 1. That document covers any 'Microsoft-hosted service to which Customer subscribes under a Microsoft volume licensing agreement,' and on The Register's reading, mostly concerns itself with Azure. Microsoft's Summary of Changes to the license states: 'Updated Acceptable Use Policy to clarify that mining cryptocurrency is prohibited without prior Microsoft approval.' Within the license itself there's hardly any more info.

A section headed 'Acceptable Use Policy' states: '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.' Microsoft appears not to have publicized this decision beyond the Summary of Changes page and, in recent hours, in an advisory to partners titled: 'Important actions partners need to take to secure the partner ecosystem.' That document states 'the Acceptable Use Policy has been updated to explicitly prohibit mining for cryptocurrencies across all Microsoft Online Services unless written pre-approval is granted by Microsoft,' and adds: 'We suggest seeking written pre-approval from Microsoft before using Microsoft Online Services for mining cryptocurrencies, regardless of the term of a subscription.' Microsoft told The Register it made the change because 'crypto currency mining can cause disruption or even impairment to Online Services and its users and can often be linked to cyber fraud and abuse attacks such as unauthorized access to and use of customer resources.'

'We made this change to further protect our customers and mitigate the risk of disrupting or impairing services in the Microsoft Cloud.' Permission to mine crypto 'may be considered for Testing and Research for security detections.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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