When bitcoin first rolled into existence in 2009, it became the first decentralized digital currency. Since then, other digital currencies have followed. This past Friday, Fortune reported that bitcoin had reached a new high for its currency value, breaking $6,000. But what happens when the ecosystem for cryptocurrency is threatened by hackers? It’s a complex subject that Fortune technology writer Robert Hackett tackles in his article about cryptojacking.

Hackett explains, “Cryptocurrency is mined, or produced, by solving complex mathematical puzzles. It’s like a lottery: The more computing power you throw at the problems, the likelier you are to win a reward. Every so often, a computer finds a solution and strikes (digital) gold.” Therein lies the draw for cybercriminals. By taking over others’ systems through spam campaigns and exploit kits, hackers are able to turn infected machines into cryptocurrency miners.

Get the full story at Fortune.

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