It’s hard to know who tracks the value of cryptocurrencies more closely. Is it the investors who own the virtual coins, or the criminals who hijack computing power to mine them?
For their part, the criminals clearly do follow cryptocurrency values. Symantec, as detailed in its annual Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR), tracked a decline in cryptojacking activity during the course of 2018, a period during which the high values cryptocurrencies reached in late 2017 gradually came down to earth.
But what is cryptojacking? In essence, it’s the process of secretly commandeering the processing power of tens, hundreds or thousands of victims’ computers and using them to collectively perform cryptocurrency mining operations. If those mining efforts successfully solve the mathematical puzzles required to validate cryptocurrency transactions, the criminal miners receive payments in the form of new crypto coins.