PSC policies

PSC policies regarding privacy, security and the abuse of PSC resources are documented here. Questions about any of these policies should be directed to PSC User Services.

See also policies for:

Security Measures

Security is very important to PSC. These policies are intended to ensure that our machines are not misused and that your data is secure.

What You Can Do:

You play a significant role in security!  To keep your account and PSC resources secure, please:

  • Be aware of and comply with PSC’s policies on security, use and privacy found in this document
  • Choose strong passwords and don’t share them between accounts or with others. More information can be found in the PSC password policies.
  • Utilize your local security team for advice and assistance
  • Take the online XSEDE Cybersecurity Tutorial. Go to Online Training and click on "XSEDE Cybersecurity (CI-Tutor)
  • Keep your computer properly patched and protected
  • Report any security concerns to the PSC help desk ASAP by calling the PSC hotline at: 412-268-6350 or email

What We Will Never Do:

  • PSC will never send you unsolicited emails requesting confidential information.
  • We will also never ask you for your password via an unsolicited email or phone call.

Remember that the PSC help desk is always a  phone call away to confirm any correspondence at  412-267-6350.

If you have replied to an email appearing to be from PSC and supplied your password or other sensitive information, please contact the help desk immediately.

What You Can Expect:

  • We will send you email when we need to communicate with you about service outages, new HPC resources, and the like.
  • We will send you email when your password is about to expire and ask you to change it by using the web-based PSC password change utility.

Other Security Policies

  • PSC password policies
  • Users must connect to PSC machines using ssh in order to avoid remote logins with clear text passwords
  • We vigilantly monitor our computer systems and network connections for security violations
  • We are in close contact with the CERT Coordination Project with regard to possible Internet security violations

Reporting Security Incidents

To report a security incident you should contact our Hotline at 412-268-6350. To report non-emergency security incidents you can send email to

PSC resource abuse policy

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center's computing resources are vital to the scientific community, and we have a responsibility to ensure that these resources are utilized in a responsible manner. The term computing resources in this case refers to all computers owned or operated by PSC and all hardware, data, software, storage systems and communications networks associated with these computers. Improper use of PSC systems is generally referred to as resource abuse.

Users of PSC's systems are subject to applicable Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and federal laws. Abuse of resources will be referred to the PSC User Services manager and/or the appropriate local, state and federal authorities, at PSC's discretion. Furthermore, PSC may terminate or restrict any user's access to its systems, without prior notice, if such action is necessary to maintain computing availability and security for other users of the systems.

Resource abuse includes, but is not limited to:

  • using, or attempting to use, the center's computing resources without prior authorization or for unauthorized purposes
  • tampering with or obstructing the operation of the computing resources, or attempting to do so
  • inspecting, modifying, distributing, or copying privileged data or software without proper authorization, or attempting to do so
  • supplying, or attempting to supply, false or misleading information or identification in order to access PSC's computing resources.

If there is any doubt regarding the legitimacy or authorization of any action, contact PSC User Services.


Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is committed to preserving your privacy. This privacy policy explains exactly what information is collected when you visit our site and how it is used.

This policy may be modified as new features are added to the site. Any changes to the policy will be posted on this page.

  • Any data automatically collected from our site visitors - domain name, browser types, etc. - are used only in aggregate to help us better meet site visitors' needs.
  • There is no identification of individuals from our aggregate data. Therefore, unless you choose otherwise, you are totally anonymous when visiting our site.
  • We do not share data with anyone for commercial purposes.
  • If you choose to submit personally identifiable information to us electronically via the PSC feedback page, email, etc., we will treat it with the same respect for privacy afforded to mailed submissions. Submission of such information is always optional.

PSC respects individual privacy and takes great effort in supporting web site privacy policy outlined above. Please be aware, however, that we publish URLs of other sites on our web site that may not adhere to the same policy.

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User Information

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Technical questions:

Send mail to or call the PSC hotline: 412-268-6350.