Virus scanners can mine cryptocurrency in the background

As a rule, virus scanners also protect against unwanted miners, i.e. against PC programs that branch off computing power as malware in order to mine cryptocurrency. But what if there is a miner in the scanner?

Protect or mine? That is the question here. Windows users who install a virus scanner recently have to reckon with the possibility of getting a cryptominer on their computer in this way.

It does not even necessarily matter whether the virus protection is free or costs something, reports the IT portal “Golem.de”. There are examples of miners in both free and paid-for virus protection programs. After all, the miners usually have to be switched on first and do not work automatically immediately after installation.

Miners and blockchains are power hogs

But aside from that, blockchain cryptocurrencies consume an extremely large amount of energy, and even mining can drive up one’s electricity bill tremendously: The use of miners at home is most likely something for experienced users with powerful hardware, especially with a powerful graphics card.

The portal warns that the majority of those who install an antivirus program are amateurs who are usually overwhelmed by the settings of a miner and then, in case of doubt, download dangerous, supposed help programs from the Internet.

Also interesting: Do virus scanners make laptops slow?

Actually only suitable for professionals

The experts conclude that it is a dubious business model to provide users who tend to be overburdened with such things as miners in the first place. Business model because the virus scanner providers retain percentages of the cryptocurrency raised.

Users who wonder whether they need to install an extra virus scanner at all should take a look at a comparison of 19 virus scanners carried out by Stiftung Warentest last year (“test” issue 3/21).

Is Microsoft’s Defender sufficient?

Even the “worst” program in the test field, Microsoft’s Defender, which is a fixed as well as free component of the Windows operating system, still received a score of 2.5 and thus a “good”. The grade was even lowered by 0.3 points due to deficiencies in the privacy policy.

If you are looking for free and good alternatives, you can find them in our article:

The best free anti-virus programs