Bitcoin mining software found on servers at UW System schools

No personal information compromised

MADISON, Wis. - Computer servers at three UW System schools were accessed by bitcoin miners in December, a spokeswoman confirmed to News 3 on Thursday. 

Software to “mine” for the virtual currency  bitcoin was found on computer servers at UW-Madison, UW-Stout and UW-Superior, according to UW System director of communications Stephanie Marquis.  

The software requires powerful computers, and a nationwide alert was issued Jan. 5 that noted “numerous reports from university and research institutions” that attackers were attempting to run “bitcoin mining malware.”

Marquis says system IT professionals discovered several attempts to install bitcoin software on Dec. 26 at campuses in Madison, Stout and Superior.  

“The campuses responded immediately to the threat, and UW-Madison rebuilt their server to remove bitcoin software,” Marquis said in a statement.  “UW-Stout and UW-Superior also immediately removed the software as soon as it was identified.  No other campus identified the software after scanning their systems.”

Information posted on UW-Madison's DoIT site shows that technicians recently worked to rebuild servers.

"Due to the serious issues found during the recent maintenance, DoIT technicians are working on rebuilding the servers this weekend," the site says."

Marquis also said that there is no evidence that anyone attempted to access personally identifiable information on the servers.  She also said subsequent scans have not shown any additional attempts to access the servers. 

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