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Antivirus Provider NortonLifelock Gets Into Cryptocurrency Mining – PCMag

NortonLifeLock adds an Ethereum mining function to its paid antivirus product, Norton 360.
Ever wanted to mine cryptocurrency through your antivirus software? Well, soon you can. 
On Wednesday, NortonLifeLock—formerly known as Symantec—announced it’s adding an Ethereum mining function to its paid antivirus product, Norton 360.
The upcoming feature may seem out of place, but according to NortonLifeLock, it serves a security purpose. The company says that many users will download “unvetted” crypto-mining programs to their PCs in their quest to cash in on the virtual currencies. However, the same programs can contain malware, or be rigged to secretly skim earnings. 
In response, the company developed Norton Crypto, which is designed to let customers securely mine Ethereum using software from a trusted brand.
“Once cryptocurrency has been earned, customers can track and transfer earnings into their Norton Crypto Wallet, which is stored in the cloud so it cannot be lost due to hard drive failure,” the company added. 
A screenshot of Norton Crypto shows the software leverages a PC’s graphics card to mine the Ethereum cryptocurrency. However, the feature won’t be cost-free. The company plans on charging a coin mining fee for each participant. Users will also need to pay up if they want to transfer their Ethereum to another wallet.
The other issue is how the Ethereum community is working to phase out GPU-intensive mining in the coming months. So the feature may be short-lived, although Norton could migrate the mining to another cryptocurrency.
In the meantime, the company will begin inviting select Norton 360 customers to try out the feature on Thursday through an early adopter program, before making it available to all Norton 360 customers in the coming weeks. 
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the costs for the mining program.
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Michael has been a PCMag reporter since October 2017. He previously covered tech news in China from 2010 to 2015, before moving to San Francisco to write about cybersecurity. He covers a variety of tech news topics, including consumer devices, digital privacy issues, computer hacking, artificial intelligence, online communities, and gaming.
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