According to Bleeping Computer , the developers of NortonLifeLock (formerly Symantec Corporation) equipped their Norton 360 antivirus with an Ethereum cryptocurrency miner in an effort to protect users from malicious miners.
The new feature is dubbed Norton Crypto and will be rolled out to early adopters of Norton 360 this week.
If Norton Crypto is enabled, the antivirus will use the device’s graphics card to mine Ethereum, and the mined cryptocurrency will then be transferred to the Norton cloud wallet. The company claims that this feature will allow users to mine Ethereum without sacrificing their security, because mining software often triggers the operation of antivirus and other security solutions.
It is not yet clear if each device running Norton Crypto will mine on its own, or if users will be pooled to increase the chances of mining a block. If the pool is there, and it is managed by Norton, the company will be able to charge a small fee for the mined Ethereum, as is the practice of pool operators, which means that the new function will become an additional source of income for the company.
“As the cryptoeconomics becomes an increasingly important part of our clients’ lives, we want to enable them to mine cryptocurrency with Norton, a brand they trust,” said Vincent Pillett, CEO of NortonLifeLock.
Meanwhile, the media notes that some Norton 360 users who decide to enable Norton Crypto may face a “surprise” from the tax office. For example, in the United States, mined cryptocurrency is subject to taxation and must be reported on tax returns.