Norton 360 antivirus is very popular and has made many miner. This has been going for quite some time. However, this was just recently revealed by the Internet. It’s a scandal for traditional Norton customers. This 15% cut by the company is perhaps the most scandalous part of the whole story. This is a commercial program that you have to pay for, so it’s only logical that people are not ok with it.
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Of course, Norton’s Ethereum mining program is nothing new. Seven months ago, when they were testing it, Our sister site Bitcoinist covered itThey said:
“A select number of Norton 360 customers, who joined the early adopter program, received their invites to mine Ethereum today. In the next few months, all 13,000,000 Norton customers will be able to join this program.
In explaining the odd pairing, the firm said cryptocurrency mining is fraught with risk and often involves disabling security and allowing “unvetted code”. The result is that miners are vulnerable to scammed earnings or ransomware. Norton claims to address these issues by enabling users to safely and easily mine cryptocurrency through the user-friendly Norton 360 platform.”
Ok, so it’s for your own good. You can’t doubt Norton’s fine people.
The Internet Discovers The Existence Of Norton ’s Ethereum Program
The mining program went viral when Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow tweeted, “Norton “Antivirus” now sneakily installs cryptomining software on your computer, and then SKIMS A COMMISSION.”
This is absolutely wild. Norton Antivirus now installs cryptomining malware on your computer and then skims a COMMISSION. https://t.co/6s2otyCd78
— Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) January 4, 2022
Journalist and security expert Brian Krebs took a closer look at this case and here’s what he came up with:
“According to This FAQ has been posted on their site, “Norton Crypto” will mine Ethereum (ETH) cryptocurrency while the customer’s computer is idle. The FAQ also says Norton Crypto will only run on systems that meet certain hardware and software requirements (such as an NVIDIA graphics card with at least 6 GB of memory).”
That doesn’t sound that bad. Plus, “NortonLifeLock says Norton Crypto is an opt-in feature only and is not enabled without user permission.” Ok, but, is the “accept” button checked from the get-go? And, why can’t people uninstall the program then? NortonLifeLock made the following response in writing:
“If users have turned on Norton Crypto but no longer wish to use the feature, it can be disabled by temporarily shutting off ‘tamper protection’ (which allows users to modify the Norton installation) and deleting NCrypt.exe from your computer.”
Chart of ETH prices for 01/08/2021 (FTX) Source: ETH/USD at TradingView.com| Source: ETH/USD on TradingView.com
What Was The Public’s Response To The Fact That They Are Ethereum Miners?
According to Krebs, “longtime Norton customers were horrified at the prospect of their antivirus product installing coin-mining software, regardless of whether the mining service was turned off by default”. They should be protected from this. And they don’t know that this is for their own good and they should trust the Norton corporation blindly.
The ones who were ok and desired to receive their ETH had another obstacle. Gas fees. If that fact is hard to navigate for experienced Ethereum users, imagine what it was for novices that weren’t even aware of their new profession as Ethereum miners. To help with visualization, just read the Norton FAQ’s explanation:
“Transfers of cryptocurrencies may result in transaction fees (also known as “gas” fees) paid to the users of the cryptocurrency blockchain network who process the transaction. You may also need to pay fees to facilitate the exchange of crypto. The market conditions for cryptocurrency and other factors can cause transaction fees to fluctuate. These fees are not set by Norton.”
Even though what they’re saying is correct, how would a civilian react to the past year’s ridiculous Ethereum gas fees?
Summary and conclusion, The Norton Situation
For a quick assessment of the situation, we turn to resistance.money’s Bradley Rettler, who tweeted. “What?! Norton antivirus now mines Ethereum *by default*. The “accept” button is checked automatically and once installed it’s very difficult to remove. You get 15% back on what you mine.”
What?! Norton antivirus now mines Ethereum *by default* — the “accept” button is checked automatically and once installed it’s very difficult to remove. And they take 15% of what you mine! https://t.co/5OXDE76KEA
— Bradley Rettler (@rettlerb) January 6, 2022
Yeah, that’s about it. Brian Krebs is a security expert.
“I guess what bothers me most about Norton Crypto is that it will be introducing millions of perhaps less savvy Internet users to the world of cryptocurrency, which comes with its own set of unique security and privacy challenges that require users to “level up” their personal security practices in fairly significant ways.”
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It seems that this is also true.
Now that Ethereum mining is a major part of our planet, what would Proof-Of Work critics think? How will the Ethereum program fare once Ethereum becomes Proof-Of-Stake? Burning questions.
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