Date of Award

Spring 3-23-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Cyber Operations (PhDCO)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Joshua Stroschein

Second Advisor

Cherie Noteboom

Third Advisor

Shengjie Xu

Fourth Advisor

Elif Gobbel


This single-case mechanism study examined the effects of cryptojacking on Internet of Things (IoT) device performance metrics. Cryptojacking is a cyber-threat that involves stealing the computational resources of devices belonging to others to generate cryptocurrencies. The resources primarily include the processing cycles of devices and the additional electricity needed to power this additional load. The literature surveyed showed that cryptojacking has been gaining in popularity and is now one of the top cyberthreats. Cryptocurrencies offer anyone more freedom and anonymity than dealing with traditional financial institutions which make them especially attractive to cybercriminals. Other reasons for the increasing popularity of cryptojacking include a large number of vulnerable devices, the low cost to implement, minimal to no expertise required, and the low risk of getting caught or prosecuted. Internet connected devices are becoming increasingly popular and commonplace. Many of these devices also are inherently insecure and make great targets of threat actors. Although many of these devices are low powered, the sheer number of available devices make up for the lack of processing power. Future research could expand on this study by incorporating machine learning, virtualization, live cryptojacking malware samples, or a combination of those items.