Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Some Antivirus Software Now Includes Cryptocurrency Mining

Brian Krebs:

Many readers were surprised to learn recently that the popular Norton 360 antivirus suite now ships with a program which lets customers make money mining virtual currency. But Norton 360 isn’t alone in this dubious endeavor: Avira antivirus — which has built a base of 500 million users worldwide largely by making the product free — was recently bought by the same company that owns Norton 360 and is introducing its customers to a service called Avira Crypto.

Founded in 2006, Avira Operations GmbH & Co. KG is a German multinational software company best known for their Avira Free Security (a.k.a. Avira Free Antivirus). In January 2021, Avira was acquired by Tempe, Ariz.-based NortonLifeLock Inc., the same company that now owns Norton 360.

The catch is the software vendor gets a cut of mined cryptocurrency. Now you can build upon the legendary performance characteristics of antivirus software with another background process that helps Avira make some extra money. At least it is opt-in rather than opt-out.