NortonLifeLock will soon roll out a feature for Norton 360 that's not commonly found in antivirus programs: A built-in miner that will enable users to mine for Ethereum. The company will start giving select participants in its early adopter program access to the feature today, though it intends to make Norton Crypto available to all customers in the coming weeks.
The security software company is promoting the miner as a feature meant to "protect" its "customers' ever-evolving digital lives." Norton says you'd usually have to disable antivirus programs to run miners, since security programs typically block them, but its own miner will obviously be able to run alongside its antivirus product.
Norton Crypto uses a device's GPU to mine for Ethereum, which users can then transfer into a wallet that's stored in the cloud to prevent accidental loss due to hardware failure. As BleepingComputer notes, though, Ethereum is quite difficult to mine especially in recent months, so users' efforts might be pooled together to have a better chance of mining a block. In that case, participants will have to divvy up their earnings, and Norton may be taking a small cut.
Gagan Singh, chief product officer at NortonLifeLock said in a statement:
"We are proud to be the first consumer Cyber Safety company to offer coinminers the ability to safely and easily turn the idle time on their PCs into an opportunity to earn digital currency. With Norton Crypto, our customers can mine for cryptocurrency with just a few clicks, avoiding many barriers to entry in the cryptocurrency ecosystem."