Calendar 2 Mac App Mines Cryptocurrency in the Background

Apple Mac app 'Calendar 2' automatically mined cryptocurrency despite users opting out

Apple Mac app 'Calendar 2' automatically mined cryptocurrency despite users opting out

In recent months, Cisco and Adblock Plus have fought against surreptitious crypto mining installations by hackers, while Monetizr and Aura have sought to use either cryptocurrency or a computer's mining resources to pay for in-app content. It has been a problem for Google Play, and now also the Mac App Store.

Calendar 2 is a scheduling app that is a bit more robust than the one that Apple includes with macOS.

The app is supposed to have an opt-in feature that allows users to choose an option that mines cryptocurrency in the background to unlock paid features. The added features have been popular with users, Within the last few days, however, developer Qbix injected code with instructions to mine Monero. But Qbix's app included the xmr-stak Monero miner, which a year ago was deployed by The Pirate Bay to unwittingly turn site visitors into miners. Founder Gregory Maharshak said that the rollout of the cryptocurrency mining option has been buggy and produced a sub-par user experience. Following user complaints and a story by Ars Technica, developer Qbix said that it would remove the mining option from "future versions of the app", initially keeping Calendar 2 in the Store. That is not the only potential issue, though. The developer said it was a well-meaning feature, but that users complained it was kicking their systems into overdrive. In an updated statement, Qbix said it has made a decision to remove the miner altogether, saying that the company that provided the miner library did not disclose the source code and it would take too long to dig through it and fix the buggy behavior. "Ultimately, even though we technically could have remedied the situation and continued on benefiting from the pretty large income such a miner generates, we took the above as a sign that we should get out of the "mining business' before we get sucked into the Proof of Work morass of incentives".

Apple has not responded to inquiries regarding whether an app with a cryptocurrency mining feature was in violation of App Store guidelines.