Don Patterson, Westmont professor of computer science, explained cryptojacking step by step in a recent article in the The Wall Street Journal. Cryptojacking, taking over the processing power of hijacked computers and using it to earn cryptocurrency, is becoming a favorite among cybercriminals.
Patterson, who taught at UC Irvine before joining Westmont’s faculty in 2015, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cornell University. He served as a naval operations officer for four years in Japan and Sardinia.
He earned a doctorate from the University of Washington and received multiple grants and won awards for articles on collapse informatics and abstract object usage. “I was interested in computers back in elementary school,” he says. “I saw both the operational side of computers when I was in the military and then I went back to grad school and focused on the development and forward-looking side.”
Among his many scholarly interests are ubiquitous computing, human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence. “I’m interested in the way that intelligent user interfaces can change how we operate with each other at a social and organizational level,” he says. “In particular, I’m interested in sustainability and looking at developing world situations that can use technology in innovative ways to expand infrastructure and access. I’m looking at our future in terms of environmental and global change seeing how we can prepare now by developing computer systems to increase our resilience.”