How to mine crypto without really trying

Both Avira anti-virus and Norton360 anti-everything now come with mining software which both probably identified as malware prior to their re-evaluation of income streams.

Although supposedly not enabled by default, I wonder when an “update” will have a wardrobe malfunction and enable the mining function, unbeknownst to the user.

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What is the risk here? Using up CPU resources and not knowing/understanding, or something more sinister?

I don’t know the cost right now, but it could cost you more in electric bills than you “make”.

The money grab by NortonLifeLock is both clever and disgusting.


Without really knowing for certain, I would assume the software takes advantage of intervals of time when one’s CPU is otherwise “idling”. Hence no significant added cost.

Of course for anyone who fires up their computers for sole purpose of mining Bitcoin, well, that would be a different situation entirely, I think kind of silly, and I agree not at all likely to be cost effective.

And I have to wonder, if I’m right in the above and only excess CPU capacity is utilized, how long it would take to produce a single Bitcoin. I suspect people could be dead long before the first one emerges from such an underpowered manufacturing process.

As @scripta noted, your power utility will love you. When you’re computer is idling, it uses significantly less power than when mining. As well, the mining software may prevent your computer from going into low power/sleep mode, which will also be more power hungry.

What the Norton and Avira miners do is to pool CPU power among all users so that mining is faster, but you only get a sliver of the blockchain coin, which I believe is Ethereum.

For the kicker, Norton takes a cut, which IIRC is 15%.

Norton has been, at best, lackluster and, at worst, disgusting since Peter Norton sold it to Symantec.


Thanks for that. I apparently misunderstood, not realizing it is an interactive process. I was thinking they generously provided standalone mining software which would run on my computer independently. Silly of me, I guess. I failed to follow the money.

For whatever it’s worth, I would never install software like that on any computer I own . . . . . and I own a LOT of computers! I don’t invite strangers into my house, either, particularly not if they have an avaricious cast to their eyes. :wink:

I think you still misunderstand, or are using incorrect terms. An “interactive” application is one that requires user input. This one does not require user input and it runs independently. What it does, as probably ANY software of this kind should do (like SETI@home, folding@home, etc), is only run when CPU(s)/GPU(s) is(are) not being utilized for anything else, because that, presumably, would be directly caused by the user and therefore have higher priority.

As mentioned above, power usage is dynamic and probably directly proportional to chip utilization. So higher utilization = higher electric bills. And the cost of electric bills is not linear usually, but geometric, so you’re paying the highest prices for the last kWh. This could make it a net loss for the end-user (but never a loss for NortonLifeLock). In that way, if they can’t guarantee that you’ll profit (and that may be difficult), then they’re actually scamming you. In a way.

While Mr. Carnegie’s definition may be the accepted one of today, I recall a time when interactive meant the terminal or PC needed a server (usually a mainframe, mid, or mini computer) to be able to do most tasks needed at an organization. Using that definition, @shinobi did understand what I said.

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Currently there are zero coins that can be mined profitably with a cpu. You can’t even mine BTC now without a specialized mining machine, the difficulty rate is too great.

Now, with a gpu, you can mine ethereum. I have three mining right now (just started for the hell of it) made about $35 this week after electricity. Took a little time tinkering, started one last Saturday, one Wednesday, one yesterday, should make about $50 next week.

Added benefit, it generates a decent amount of heat - and it’s pretty darn cold outside.


Not a very efficient way to generate heat :slight_smile: .

How do you know how much you’re spending on electricity? Are you measuring actual draw somehow?