You can’t be serious. Norton 360, the somewhat frustrating antivirus software that comes preinstalled on many Windows computers, will soon have a built-in Ethereum cryptominer. In the press release, NortonLifeLock says that Norton Crypto will allow people to mine with a “brand they trust” rather than take risks and run “unscreened code” on their computers.
Cryptomining software uses a computer̵
It doesn’t take a computer expert to realize that cryptominers are not cybersecurity tools. Yet Vincent Pilette, CEO of NortonLifeLock, emphasizes the opposite: “Norton Crypto is another innovative example of how we are expanding our Cyber Safety platform to protect the ever-changing digital lives of our customers.”
In a way, he’s not that wrong. Those most likely to use Norton Crypto probably know very little about crypto mining and may be vulnerable to “pitfalls” such as malware or a failed hard drive, which can destroy hard-earned coins. Norton Crypto also features a cloud-based wallet to protect cryptocurrency and, according to a statement to The Verge, can connect to Coinbase for trading.
But let’s be realistic for a moment: the kind of people who will use Norton Crypto would probably not shy away from downloading ghostly, “unscreened” crypto mining software. They will only use Norton Crypto because it comes pre-installed on their computer and makes free money at a glance. Norton Crypto users may not fully understand how the software works, the impact crypto mining has on their computer’s lifespan, crypto mining tax requirements or the risks associated with crypto trading.
At launch, Norton Crypto will only produce Ethereum, which is difficult to mine on a single laptop or desktop. As noted by the BBC, it appears NortonLifeLock will get around the problem by combining miners’ computing power into a ‘pool’ and splitting the revenue. The problem is that it is common for crypto pools to have a 1% fee. If Norton Crypto relies on such a system, NortonLifeLock could develop an extremely lucrative revenue stream at the expense of its customers’ computer hardware and naivety.
Norton Crypto is now available to select customers in the Norton 360 early adopter program. The mining tool will be rolled out to regular customers in the coming weeks. If you want to start mining crypto and don’t mind paying around $100 a year for Norton 360, you can sign up on the company’s website.
Source: NortonLifeLock via the BBC