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Microsoft bans cryptocurrency mining from online services to protect cloud, customers

The Universal License Terms for Online Services that came into effect on 1 December have been updated by Microsoft. Cryptomining through online services has been banned by Microsoft. It is done to protect its clouds and customers. Earlier this month, the tech giant announced the new changes. Other than the Summary of Changes page no other information regarding the same was published.

On the official website of Microsoft, it is mentioned that “Updates Acceptable Use Policy to clarify that mining cryptocurrency is prohibited without prior Microsoft approval.” It is crucial for the user to have a written pre-approval from the company regarding the use of crypto mining via Microsoft Online Services regardless of the term of a subscription, as mentioned in the Acceptable Use Policy.

It was informed by Microsoft that this change was made as “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 unauthorised 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.” It was also mentioned that cryptomining permission “may be considered for Testing and Research for security detections.”

Previous year the company warned customers regarding a new crypto mining malware that can remove security controls, new crypto mining malware that are spread via emails and gradually drop more tools for activities that are human-operated. Microsoft has also told partners regarding the allowance of cryptomining as the company does not deal with most customers directly. Other than Microsoft, Google Cloud, Oracle, Digital Ocean and OVH are also banning cryptomining without permission and adding an element of written permission for the same.

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