Norton 360 wants you to make a pittance mining Ethereum cryptocurrency

This new feature allows you to turn your computer into a cryptocurrency miner by opting in. Norton will take 15% of the top and market fees.

Image by NortonLifeLock

NortonLifeLock, a cybersecurity software company, is under fire after it decided late last year not to allow its Norton 360 customers to install Ethereum mining software without their consent or knowledge. 

Norton Crypto, the Norton 360 mining component is not enabled unless the user opts in. However, that hasn’t stopped users using it. Norton’s Crypto ForumThey are not all angry about the sneaky installation, but they do register their discontent.

SEE:  NFTs cheatsheet: All you need to know (free PDF). (TechRepublic)

Norton’s forum shows that a vocal section of its user base is upset because software many consider to be malware was installed without permission. They have trouble uninstalling it and are also concerned about the impact of Ethereum mining on the environment. 

What exactly is Norton doing here?

There are plenty of things to be suspicious about when it involves companies asking permission for cryptocurrency mining on your computer. But it is worth taking a step back to see what Norton is suggesting. 

The following is an extract from the Norton Crypto FAQIt is possible to disable its software in the Norton Crypto Dashboard. The rewards are split among a pool that includes all crypto-mining Norton 360 users. It is easy to start it up. Norton will manage all the rest, including thresholds and your wallet. You can also decide when/when you want to mine. It is possible to transfer Ethereum from Norton to Coinbase. 

Norton doesn’t want to be known as a company that sells software that fries hardware. Therefore, they have made Norton Crypto’s requirements very strict. It must have a NVIDIA GPU with at minimum 6GB of memory and a 1GHz processor. 2GB RAM. Windows 7 SP1 or later. It will not run on Windows 10 in S mode. 

Norton Crypto: Why is it so hateful?

The most important thing detractors have pointed out, aside from the unasked for software installation, is the 15% Norton “mining fee”. This means that you immediately lose 15% of the Ethereum that you mine. This is in addition to subscription fees that users already pay.

Norton also doesn’t pay any transaction or gas fee associated with selling or moving Ethereum from its wallet into Coinbase. Posters on Norton Crypto Forums stated that they could not withdraw their balance because they would be charged fees beyond what they have earned.

Then there is the question of energy consumption. Is it worth the additional electricity expenses incurred by making a small contribution towards the Norton mining pool to get your share? Ethereum’s energy consumption is absurd, just like Bitcoin. A single Ethereum blockchain transaction consumes over a tonne of electricity. More than 100,000 Visa Card transactionsThis is roughly equivalent to the energy used by the average American home. In a week. This directly impacts the energy consumption of miners. It is therefore important to find out what you are getting back in return. 

Many have raised concerns about Ncrypt.exe. This is the actual application that does the mining for Norton 360. It can’t be removed easily. Some users report that they had to manually delete Ncrypt.exe after Norton was deactivated. However, there is no guarantee that Ncrypt.exe will not be reinstalled automatically when Norton 360 is updated.

SEE: Metaverse cheatsheet: Everything you need to learn (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Brian Krebs, cybersecurity expert, said that there is another concern.Norton’s reach will place cryptocurrency“[Norton Crypto]Krebs stated that he will introduce millions of Internet users, perhaps less tech-savvy, to cryptocurrency. “Crypto has its own unique set of security and privacy issues that requires users to “level up,” their personal security practices in quite significant ways.” Krebs added. 

Norton 360 customers: Have you used Norton Crypto before? Please comment below to share your knowledge with other readers. 

I have reached out to Norton regarding some Norton Crypto’s features, perceived problems, and will update the article with any reply. 

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