Norton 360 security software has the whole nine yards: a VPN, LifeLock, and… Ethereum mining?
Crypto mining will soon come pre-installed with newer laptop models. Ethereum mining to be specific appears to be showing up in an unforeseen place: Norton 360. Yes, it’s the antivirus software that many users will know from setting up new computers for their parents (via BleepingComputer).
In their press announcement, Norton says its brand is a perfect fit: people looking to mine crypto won’t have to dig through the dark, scary parts of the web, where they could probably find “unvetted code.”
The firm also states that it’ll store users’ crypto wallets in the cloud with its own Norton Wallet. As far as actually using their gains, a Norton spokesperson announced that there will be a button that allows users to “pull money into Coinbase.”
Until now, Norton claims, people who wanted to mine had to disable their security software to do it, which made things harder for them.
While that somewhat seems like a problem that could at least in part be caused by Norton 360 itself, Norton does have a point that using software that comes pre-installed on your computer is more straightforward than having to figure out mining for yourself.
But is that really what we want? Putting aside the environmental concerns of thousands of new miners and the potential unexpected tax implications that BleepingComputer brings up (not that those are things that unexpected roadblocks should ignore), the idea of having mining software included in a program that comes with people’s computers seems like a slippery slope.
Rolling Out This Week
It’s effortless to think of a company, not significantly Norton offering cheaper or even free computers. This is, if you turn your unused computing cycles into a recurring source of profit; for the bloatware, makers subsidizing your purchase. Think Kindle with Special Offers, except instead of ads; you’re taxing your computer’s GPU and sucking back electricity when you’re not using it (or, in the case of really shady manufacturers, when you are). Norton may be opening a door here that’s hard to close.
While Norton particularly calls out Ethereum in its blog post, it told CNN it was contemplating letting people mine other “reputable crypto currencies” later on. The tech firm is letting in early adopters on Thursday. They’re hoping to roll it out to everyone “in the coming weeks.”
Interesting crypto mining article that you may have missed:
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