If you know a little bit about antivirus software, you have surely heard the name Norton at one time or another. The same company that bought rival Avast for more than $ 8 billion in 2021 has been testing a new feature in their antimalware solutions llamada “Norton Crypto”.
Norton Crypto is part of Norton 360, the security solution star of the company that includes a VPN, and that costs from 30 to 105 euros per year depending on the plan, version, renewal, etc. Its function is to mine cryptocurrencies when you are not using your PC… and keep a slice.
From wanting to be light to mining cryptocurrencies: a true 360 turn for antivirus
Norton Crypto serves, at the moment, only to mine Ethereum and although the company says that it is an optional function that the user has to activate to start mining the cryptocurrency, there are users who they report that the miner is installed and used even if you don’t activate it, and that it is impossible to uninstall unless you delete the NCrypt.exe program with administrator permissions, and that it may still fail.
Norton also takes care of everything for you, they they say create a secure digital wallet for each user and “the key to the wallet is encrypted and stored securely in the cloud.”
Although according to Norton only you have access to the wallet, not only you have access to what you earn mining with Norton 360. Currently the commission for mining is 15% of what corresponds to the miner, to that you can add any other fee associated with transactions and transfers.
Norton 360 users, at least according to the posts that are filling the official community forum, do not seem to be very happy with the idea. There are multiple complaints from people who believe that including a cryptocurrency miner inside an antivirus is a terrible idea, when one of its objectives is to literally detect this type of software as malicious.
Although Norton states that it is an optional function that the user can activate only if he wishes, there are users reporting that it is not.
Other users report problems with their balances, either because they disappear or are reduced in front of them, crashes of other apps, blue screens, wallets that do not open, inability to withdraw Ethereum, etc.
Norton Crypto only supports transferring the Ethereum you mine from your digital wallet to Coinbase. On their website they explain that hashrate It is designed to update in real time, and although for now it is only available to some users in the United States, they plan to expand it to other countries.
The main defense against user complaints seems to always be the same “Norton Crypto is an optional function, if you want to use it and if not”. For Norton the difference between them and other miners is that theirs “is safe and reliable” and Norton 360 will continue to detect cryptominers malicious as always. Ironically, there are other antivirus detecting Norton Crypto as a threat.
It is extremely curious that Norton has started to include this feature optional in your product without really prior notice, and one that goes quite against everything that antivirus has been trying to beat for decades: that of consuming too many resources of your computer. Norton Crypto is designed to fully exploit your resources “when you’re not using your PC” and at least “earn something from it” … after paying your subscription and commissions.