Norton antivirus adds an Ethereum mining feature to its latest release

Mining ethereum can be a sketchy affair. So, Norton is bundling the service into its antivirus software (for some reason).

June 7, 2021

We have no idea if this is what an Ethereum miner looks like (Source: NurPhoto / Getty Images)

In the future, everybody is a crypto miner.

At least according to cybersecurity firm NortonLifeLock, which will now include an Ethereum mining feature — Norton Crypto — in its popular antivirus software Norton 360.

Why is an antivirus software adding cryptocurrency mining?

Part of the reason: In order to mine cryptocurrency, users are often required to remove certain security settings on their desktops.

Finding a reliable miner online is a sketchy prospect. Available programs often have unvetted code, exposing users to unnecessary risk or potential hijacking of their computing power — dubbed “cryptojacking.”

Norton’s solution allows Norton 360 customers to easily mine crypto during periods of computer “idle time.”

The release baffled some tech commentators…

… who theorized a future where companies pre-install miners on subsidized computers, sucking the public’s electricity and keeping the mined profits for themselves.

The amount of currency generated from Norton Crypto is likely to be small, and Norton will take a 15% cut. Norton also announced a secure, cloud-based wallet for storing mined funds and transferring them to Coinbase.

Technology, it seems, is moving from pre-installed antivirus to pre-installed crypto-wallet.

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