Norton 360 antivirus wants to allow cryptocurrency mining

NortonLifeLock, the company that publishes the Norton 360 antivirus, has announced that it wants to allow users to mine a cryptocurrency: Ethereum. This feature is currently being tested by a sample of volunteers and raises some questions.

A new feature coming soon to everyone

Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin starring, do not leave anyone indifferent. While some people do well by posting huge profits, their current and future environmental and social impact has been widely criticized. And yet that hasn’t stopped the makers of Norton 360 antivirus from developing a new function to their customers. The platform talks about mining Ethereum, the second most famous cryptocurrency that appeared in 2015.

In a statement dated June 2, 2021, the company explains that a sample of volunteers is currently testing the feature called Norton Crypto. Above all, it indicates that the same functionality will be open to all Norton 360 users in the coming weeks.

norton crypto antivirus software cryptocurrency
Credit: Norton

Norton carries his project despite some black spots

“Crypto continues to become an increasingly important part of our customers’ lives (…). Norton Crypto allows our customers to mine cryptocurrency in just a few clicks, avoiding the many barriers to entry into the cryptocurrency ecosystem.”the company explains in its press release.

Norton does not want to miss this new trend. In addition, mining cryptocurrencies end up in Norton Crypto Walle, a wallet available on a new cloud platform of society we know very little about.

However, remember that cryptocurrency mining has its limits. It turns out that mobilizing your computer’s computing power to participate in the blockchain’s operation is energy-intensive and accelerates the end of equipment life. One of the most exposed components is the processors responsible for the calculations: the GPUs. However, cryptocurrency mining promotes GPU shortagewhose available stocks are sold at gold prices.

Other questions and gray areas

This news surprises and raises questions. It must be said that when we talk about mining cryptocurrencies on cybersecurity platforms, it is often bad news. Indeed, the mining software (cryptominers) are a type of malware that has a strong presence in the cybercrime field on several levels. They can be found, for example, in universities or in supercomputers. However, their mission is far from mining. In force third-party machines to mine for their part, hackers avoid paying for the necessary equipment or even the required energy.

Anyway, Norton said they wanted to set up a framework to make it a safe practice. Nevertheless, some gray areas remain, including the possible effects of mining on computer performance. However, these effects may relate to the cost/profit ratio. The company still mentions the need to own some type of mining hardware, but unfortunately doesn’t provide more details.