On account of security incidents, a number of several supercomputers and data centers used for research projects have been closed down this week throughout Europe.

Around a dozen of these high-performance computers have been affected in Germany, the U.K., and Switzerland, leaving researchers incapable of continuing their work.

Enormously powerful systems built on conventional hardware to perform high-speed computations, supercomputers are used mostly for scientific work and testing mathematical representations for intricate physical phenomena and designs.

On Monday, notifications began to unveil from the U.K. and Germany about supercomputers being closed down after cyber-attacks.

UK’s National Supercomputing Service, ARCHER, became inaccessible to investigators on May 11 because of security misuse on its login nodes. The service remains sealed to outside access and fresh news will be dispatched on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Leibniz Supercomputing Center informed users that a security incident impacted its supercomputers, forcing the institute to separate them from the outside world.

By week end, as many as nine supercomputers in Germany were affected by cyber-attacks, as per SPIEGEL journalist Patrick Beuth.

A similar note was sent for the Taurus system at the Technical University in Dresden: “Due to a security issue we have temporarily closed access to Taurus.”

On Saturday, the Swiss Center of Scientific Computations (CSCS) notified its users that numerous super computers and academic data centers can no longer be accessed due to malevolent activity spotted on the systems.

Cryptojacking intent

Details are rare about the object of the attack but, in an advisory, the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) published details about two cyber-attacks striking academic data centers that seem to be the work of the same criminal.

CSIRT released technical facts and pointers of compromise for the events they examined, observing that victims are placed in China, the U.S., and Europe.


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