Why Do Antivirus Programs Block Miners?

February 4, 2020

Any veteran Salad user can tell you: mining protocols and antivirus programs don’t get along. For some reason, AVs like McAfee, Kaspersky, and Windows Defender think that Salad and other miners are up to some “suspicious activity,” and block them on sight.

For many, this is just another inconvenience stemming from a clunky antivirus program. They just whitelist the program and move on. But the more curious might wonder why the program is blocked in the first place. Let's do some digging.

What Does Mining Software Actually Do?

Most mining programs are freely available, plug-and-play executables that you can distribute or use as you please. If you were keen to mine Ethereum using Ethermine, you'd simply download the software and run it to start mining.

The problems arise when you try to get and use the crypto you've earned. Depending on the program, you’ll probably need to do a lot of stuff on your own, like opening a wallet, configuring your mining software, and finding somewhere to exchange or spend your digital ducats.

Salad is built to interface with several mining programs. We dynamically configure the nitty-gritty to help you skip the headache—and make a tidy profit.

What Is Cryptojacking?

Miners install such software onto machines in hopes of using their GPUs to mine cryptocurrency. They’re aware of the program and what it’s doing with their computer, and they expect some measure of fair compensation.

Cryptojacking is when some sneaky virus installs itself on your machine and downloads mining software without your consent. This kind of malware steals your GPU’s computational power to mine cryptocurrency on the sly. You don’t know it’s there, you didn’t consent to it, and you don't see a penny from it.

A person in a hood looks at a credit card while holding a laptop computer. The Bitcoin logo hovers in a magical light above the keyboard.

Antivirus Software Can't Tell the Difference

Because a lot of malware uses the same executables to cryptojack, antivirus programs treat most mining libraries as malicious. The difference is that Salad asks your permission to mine that cryptocurrency and compensates you fairly for the work you do.

Thanks to these bad apples spoiling the bunch, antivirus programs err on the side of caution and block all instances of these executables on your PC.

If Salad gets blocked by your antivirus software, don’t panic! Simply follow our instructions to exempt Salad or its libraries from your AV policies. If that sounds scary, don’t worry—we have detailed guides for different AV programs.

Will This Always Be a Problem for Salad?

While AVs defend data, privacy, and hardware, they can also be an obstruction. Even reputable libraries like Ethermine or Nicehash get flagged by different AVs. Software like Norton will caution users that miners could be pulling something shady behind the curtain.

But many antivirus programs gradually "learn" what third-party software is and isn't reputable. This rep typically boils down to how many people have downloaded it and used it over time. As far as the AVs are concerned, Salad is still pretty new in town—but one day these open-minded AVs will learn who we are and stop giving us the red flag of death.

Robotic snakes surround a laptop whose screen displays a shield.

How Can I Help?

As Salad grows, these issues should occur less and less frequently. Unfortunately, we can't know exactly when that will be, but we’re making every effort. If you've enjoyed making maximum mula with Salad, you can help us get whitelisted by leaving reviewing Salad on Trustpilot.

If you have further questions about how miners interact with antivirus programs, feel free to join our Discord and ask around. We’ve got thousands of seasoned Chefs who can help you out.