In a nutshell: Casual cryptocurrency miners typically have to disable their antivirus program in order to mine, potentially making them vulnerable to security threats of all types. That'll no longer be the case for select Norton 360 customers moving forward.

The cyber security firm has announced a new feature called Norton Crypto. From today, select customers in Norton's early adopter program can now mine for Ethereum without having to disable their antivirus protection.

"As the crypto economy continues to become a more important part of our customers' lives, we want to empower them to mine cryptocurrency with Norton," said NortonLifeLock CEO Vincent Pilette.

Norton customers are also invited to transfer their mined crypto into their Norton Crypto Wallet, a cloud-based storage solution that eliminates the risk of local hard drive failure.

There are more questions than answers at this point. For example, it's unclear if Norton is operating a mining pool, which groups multiple users together to increase their chances of successfully mining a block. If a pool is in place, Norton would likely collect a small operator fee as other mining pools do, thus making this a new stream of income for the company.

It's also unclear if Norton forces users to use their cloud wallet, or if you are free to transfer mined crypto to the wallet / exchange of your choice. The latter seems most likely, but I'm not certain.

The viability of casual mining using GPUs is also up in the air, especially given Nvidia's recent stance against mining using its newer graphics cards.

Image credit TimeShops