Skip to comments.Norton 360 Antivirus Now Mines Cryptocurrency
Posted on 01/11/2022 5:23:29 AM PST by ShadowAce
Norton has an interesting feature tucked inside its Norton 360 antivirus subscription—a cryptocurrency miner. It’s not turned on by default, but it is installed as part of your antivirus package whether you want it or not.
The crypto-miner actually rolled out in July 2021 to some users, but the company has started a wider rollout recently. Some users are upset because the mining software is installed automatically as part of Norton 360, and the software pushes mining on users through a prompt that says, “Turn your PC’s idle time into cash,” as shown in the image above.
Thankfully, you have to turn the feature on and meet Norton’s strict system requirements (an NVIDIA graphics card with a minimum of 6GB memory will be the main sticking point for most). However, there doesn’t appear to be a way to completely uninstall the crypto mining software, which has upset some users.Norton
Norton says it made its crypto mining software because it “allows the customers to mine for Ethereum, a popular cryptocurrency, more safely during their PC’s idle time. They will operate within a “pool” of Norton Crypto miners, delivering greater efficiencies and enabling all users to share in the rewards.” Essentially, Norton believes this is a safer way to mine Ethereum than other methods.
Of course, Norton isn’t offering this mining service out of the kindness of its heart. The company charges a high 15% fee off the top and an additional fee to transfer your currency to another wallet, so the company stands to make decent money off of its mining tool.
There’s nothing malicious happening here, but users are never thrilled when they get a piece of software to do one thing (in this case, protect their PCs), and it adds something else without their permission. With that said, as long as it’s not turned on by default and Norton is upfront about it, the company isn’t technically doing anything wrong.
Update, 1/7/22 11:22 am Eastern: A Norton spokesperson reached out to us with clarification regarding the ability to remove the feature and how the fees work:
Norton Crypto is an opt-in feature only and is not enabled without user permission. If users have turned on Norton Crypto but no longer wish to use the feature, it can be disabled through Norton 360 by temporarily shutting off “tamper protection” (which allows users to modify the Norton installation) and deleting NCrypt.exe from your computer.
There is a coin mining fee to use Norton Crypto, but we do not charge users transaction fees once the cryptocurrency is mined. The transaction fee that users may see is the traditional Etherium network fee that is associated with digital currency movement, and not paid to NortonLifeLock.
This is actually really cool. At least I think so.
Same here. If I had a spare system I’d look into that
I know some people who go to to their office not because they want to work but they use the office wifi to mine crypto lol
Until Norton decides to turn it on remotely and use your machine for their purposes.
I’m still trying to figure out what “work” your computer does to “earn” this phantom “currency.”
I was offered this months ago, but it didn’t look worthwhile, after accounting for the impact on my electric bill.
Right—it usually costs more in electricity than you get out of it
This is a FOOLS ERRAND for most. Most could never actually earn money given the hashing rate of their GPU and the kwh rate they pay.
“Same here. If I had a spare system I’d look into that”
You can do it WITHOUT Norton...
With that said, I caught the Discord Chat app cryptojacking my system and had to reinstall my whole OS to rid myself of it. Here is the problem, you are willingly opening a back door to Norton.
“Until Norton decides to turn it on remotely and use your machine for their purposes.”
Exactly, you are handing them control of your machine. I do not miss needing services like Norton one bit since going to Linux. :)
Norton IS a virus. I hate those people. You can’t get heir bloated crap off your machine. The same with McAfee pushing their spam every 20 minutes.
Bundling crypto mining software with what is supposed to be anti-virus software, then not being transparent about it is poor PR. It looks shady and from a software perspective it is poor functionally to bundle disparate functions.
I have been mining with Easy Miner, but it just doesn’t seem efficient.
Any recommendations on more efficient mining programs?
(And I have goog’d for that info - nothing but spam gets returned)
The real sneaks will be the IT guys who convince a whole company to switch to Norton, enable this feature, then direct the Ethereum to their own wallets.
Probably they’ll get away with it too.
I don’t mine crypto. Sorry.
anti virus software is difficult to remove. I had a tough time uninstalling mcafee.
That is one of the main reasons I stay away from Microsoft, Apple, and most of the applications in their respective ecosystems.
As others have pointed out, this crypto currency mining thing is probably a net loss. As I understand it to actually make money you need relatively cheap electricity (and cooling), or someone else (work) paying for it and relatively new, high-end or powerful graphics cards to make any kind of reasonable progress. Even at that I don't think there's much return on the investment unless/until you scale up to dozens or hundreds of systems. Some mining "centers" apparently have tens of thousands of systems - rivaling the computing power of a large scale data center.
I recently bought a brand new Dell laptop. It came with Windows on it. I booted it up into windows once just to ensure the hardware wasn't DOA. Then within 30 min of unboxing it I had wiped it's SSD and installed Manjaro on it. I'm using it now to type this.
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