Mac App Store App 'Calendar 2' Mines Cryptocurrency by Default, but Feature is Being Removed [Updated]

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A Mac App Store app called Calendar 2 has been mining a digital coin known as Monero using customers' machines, and Apple took no action against the app despite knowing about it for at least 24 hours.

As Ars Technica points out, Calendar 2 is supposed to have an opt-in feature that allows users to choose to let the app mine cryptocurrency to unlock paid features that normally require an in-app purchase, but instead, it's been bugged and has been mining Monero by default.

Image via Ars Technica​

Surprisingly enough, Apple has allowed the Calendar 2 app to remain available in the Mac App Store despite the fact that it openly embraces cryptocurrency mining. Ars Technica asked Apple if the app violated App Store policies, but did not receive a response, and more than 24 hours after Ars contacted Apple, the app remains available for purchase in the Mac App Store.

It's not clear if Apple has left the app in place because it approves of allowing cryptocurrency mining in the Mac App Store as a way to enable paid features or because Mac App Store apps often receive little attention from the company.

Regardless, because of the attention the feature has received from the media today, Qbix, the company behind Calendar 2, has decided to remove the feature from the app. Qbix founder Gregory Magarshak told Ars Technica that the currency miner's rollout had been complicated by bugs that prevented it from working as intended, with the miner running continuously even when not approved by the user. Other bugs caused it to use too much of a Mac's resources.

Magarshak originally said Qbix would update the app to fix the bugs, but he later told Ars that Qbix has decided to remove the miner in the app, so there will be no way to get free features via cryptocurrency mining going forward. From an email he sent to Ars Technica:
We have decided to REMOVE the miner in the app. The next version will remove the option to get free features via mining. This is for three reasons:

1) The company which provided us the miner library did not disclose its source code, and it would take too long for them to fix the root cause of the CPU issue.

2) The rollout had a perfect storm of bugs which made it seem like our company *wanted* to mine crypto-currency without people's permission, and that goes against our whole ethos and vision for Qbix.

3) My own personal feeling that Proof of Work has a dangerous set of incentives which can lead to electricity waste on a global scale we've never seen before. We don't want to get sucked into this set of incentives, and hopefully our decision to ultimately remove the miner will set some sort of precedent for other apps as well.
Even though the features are going to be removed from the Mac App Store app, it continues to be unclear how Apple feels about cryptocurrency mining within apps and if the company's apparent indifference on the issue is going to lead to additional Mac apps attempting to go this path to implement features in exchange for processing power.

Websites and malware have been sneakily mining for currency by taking advantage of unsupecting users, but Calendar 2's method of openly offering features in exchange for free mining is new to the Mac App Store.

Update: Calendar 2 is no longer available from the Mac App Store, but it is not clear if it was removed by Qbix or pulled by Apple.

Update 2: Apple did indeed pull the Calendar 2 app from the Mac App Store after learning of the currency mining issue. Qbix says it worked with Apple to remove the feature and introduced a new version of the app with no mining.
1st of all lets give credit where due: an hour after we updated Ars about removing the mining feature, Apple removed our app citing 2.4.2 &worked w us to put it back on the store. New release has NO mining and we are giving all old&new Calendar users ALL features free for a YEAR. - Qbix Apps (@QbixApps) March 13, 2018


Article Link: Mac App Store App 'Calendar 2' Mines Cryptocurrency by Default, but Feature is Being Removed [Updated]
 

nwcs

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2009
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It is a bad precedent to use a miner for free features. Especially since there is not a rational basis for the value of crypto currencies. More of them keep being rolled out which I think highlights the coming problem for them. Block chain will absolutely endure but I don’t think crypto currencies will have long term value.

Yes, traditional currencies are not what they used to be under the gold and/or silver standard but they are generally recognized and has an entity that at least promises to honor it. That’s more than today’s crypto flavor of the month.
 

LinusR

macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2011
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It's not clear if Apple has left the app in place because it approves of allowing cryptocurrency mining in the Mac App Store as a way to enable paid features or because Mac App Store apps often receive little attention from the company.
If the latter is true, they might as well just close the MAS down. That would be utterly embarrassing for Apple. There does not appear to be an alternative to the perception that Apple doesn't care about the MAS because as it doesn't generate as much profit as the iTunes store. Shame.
 

now i see it

macrumors 601
Jan 2, 2002
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Bitcoin mining is a plague. Such a wasteful wasteful wasteful use of resources to create what only amounts to an agreement between people. Its like burning down an entire forest so a few people can say they're richer than the others. Despicable.
 

JGRE

macrumors 65816
Oct 10, 2011
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Bitcoin mining is a plague. Such a wasteful wasteful wasteful use of resources to create what only amounts to an agreement between people. Its like burning down an entire forest so a few people can say they're richer than the others. Despicable.
Not only a plague, but also a scam. How can you create currency by running a GPU? Normally money is based on I-ow-you (with a certain standard, gold, silver or holding some other assets to back it up), this is just warm air blown up your...... It is just a pyramid game, and you should not be holding the short-stick when the music stops.
 

beaker7

Cancelled
Mar 16, 2009
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The intern that ran the Mac App Store has left the company so unlikely to get a response.
[doublepost=1520893341][/doublepost]
Normally money is based on I-ow-you (with a certain standard, gold, silver or holding some other assets to back it up)
Gold standard ended in 1973. Fiat currencies are worth whatever someone is willing to pay for them, just like crypto.
 

Amacfa

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2009
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It is a bad precedent to use a miner for free features. Especially since there is not a rational basis for the value of crypto currencies. More of them keep being rolled out which I think highlights the coming problem for them. Block chain will absolutely endure but I don’t think crypto currencies will have long term value.

Yes, traditional currencies are not what they used to be under the gold and/or silver standard but they are generally recognized and has an entity that at least promises to honor it. That’s more than today’s crypto flavor of the month.
This statement shows a fundamental misunderstanding. For you to say blockchain will succeed and cryptocurrencies won’t is quite silly.

In order for a blockchain to function, a token must be rewarded to miners, this is the incentive for miners to propagate and hash-secure previous blocks. Without the token/currency - there is no incentive to use electricity or computing power toward securing the database. And that what blockchain is, a hash secured database.

I could agree that 99% of cryptocurrencies will disappear, but Bitcoin is here to stay.
[doublepost=1520893483][/doublepost]
Bitcoin mining is a plague. Such a wasteful wasteful wasteful use of resources to create what only amounts to an agreement between people. Its like burning down an entire forest so a few people can say they're richer than the others. Despicable.
Um no. Immutability is not a waste of energy. Christmas lights are a waste of energy.

Also most likely the program isn’t mining bitcoin, for the hashpower required for mining bitcoin is far greater than any GPU could provide, which is why bitcoin miners use ASIC’s (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) instead of GPU’s. Most likely it’s mining another cryptocurrency that isn’t bitcoin.
 
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Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
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May be to the the Apps Store, but it still sux.

To think people can mine this way on the condition you pay THEM to stop, when they should not be doing it in the first place..

They just want money, and looks like developers and webmasters will go to any length to get it.

Also most likely the program isn’t mining bitcoin, for the hashpower required for mining bitcoin is far greater than any GPU could provide, which is why bitcoin miners use ASIC’s (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) instead of GPU’s. Most likely it’s mining another cryptocurrency that isn’t bitcoin.
Doesn't matter weather its another currency, its still not acceptable on a users device they supposed to own. When it comes to 'privacy, all of a sudden the tables turn as "our device" when tracking is involved, but this?
 

Alenore

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2013
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May be to the the Apps Store, but it still sux.

To think people can mine this way on the condition you pay THEM to stop, when they should not be doing it in the first place..

They just want money, and looks like developers and webmasters will go to any length to get it.



Doesn't matter weather its another currency, its still not acceptable on a users device they supposed to own. When it comes to 'privacy, all of a sudden the tables turn as "our device" when tracking is involved, but this?
You mean they should give you their software for free? This isn't a charity.
 

Amacfa

macrumors 68000
May 22, 2009
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Doesn't matter weather its another currency, its still not acceptable on a users device they supposed to own. When it comes to 'privacy, all of a sudden the tables turn as "our device" when tracking is involved, but this?
Oh no, I totally agree with you. Any developer that takes a useful app and hides cryptocurrency mining inside is a very scumbaggy move.
 

JGRE

macrumors 65816
Oct 10, 2011
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The intern that ran the Mac App Store has left the company so unlikely to get a response.
[doublepost=1520893341][/doublepost]

Gold standard ended in 1973. Fiat currencies are worth whatever someone is willing to pay for them, just like crypto.
Nonsens you should really read into Basel 1 and Basel 2 as an example to a bit more to get an understanding of monetary economics.
 

Sasparilla

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2012
1,366
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Some Android app "innovation" being brought over to iOS. /s

Nice to see they are removing the functionality, would be better if Apple just banned the app - they should have 0 tolerance for this kind of thing.

Im afraid in the future will be Ads vs Miners
Have to disagree - you're leaving out the effects on the users hardware. While ads are not good on your battery (ad blockers exist), they're tolerable...mining will drain your battery and run your CPU like you were playing a high performance game when its running. The long term effects of mining on your battery and CPU/GPU are probably not good.
 
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idunn

macrumors 6502a
Jan 12, 2008
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2) The rollout had a perfect storm of bugs which made it seem like our company *wanted* to mine crypto-currency without people's permission, and that goes against our whole ethos and vision for Qbix.
Anybody like to buy a bridge?
 
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fairuz

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Aug 27, 2017
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Yeah bye. Hope everyone deletes it and DDoS's them.
[doublepost=1520896290][/doublepost]
Bitcoin mining is a plague. Such a wasteful wasteful wasteful use of resources to create what only amounts to an agreement between people. Its like burning down an entire forest so a few people can say they're richer than the others. Despicable.
Yes, but to be fair, this also happens with paper/coin money. I don't know what the tradeoffs are wrt environmental impact. Either way, look forward to Ethereum's proof-of-stake transformation that will eliminate mining.
 

beaker7

Cancelled
Mar 16, 2009
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Nonsens you should really read into Basel 1 and Basel 2 as an example to a bit more to get an understanding of monetary economics.
Basel is a non binding set of regulations relating to the legacy fiat system that failed spectacularly if you recall. Not relevant to the topic at hand.