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

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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:
    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.

    Article Link: Mac App Store App 'Calendar 2' Mines Cryptocurrency by Default, but Feature is Being Removed [Updated]
  2. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    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.
  3. LinusR macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2011
    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.
  4. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Lol at the word choice: “unobtrusively.”

    More accurate: “calendar destroys your battery in the background.”
  5. StellarVixen macrumors 65816


    Mar 1, 2018
  6. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    The Mac App Store has been ruining indie app development on the Mac for a good while.
  7. now i see it macrumors 68030

    Jan 2, 2002
    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.
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Of course the bug coincidentally acted in their favor.

    Just like every single time a car manufacturer makes an "error" in calculating official mileage, the error is always coincidentally in their favor.
  9. JGRE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2011
    Dutch Mountains
    And steels you GPU power. Apple should ban them from the store and nobody should buy anything from them anymore.
  10. CanadianGuy macrumors member


    Jul 3, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Apple has pulled the app until the developer promises to pay 30% of the coins mined to Apple.
  11. mariusignorello macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2013
    I’m sure the customer would end up paying way more than $17 after their power bill skyrockets.
  12. JGRE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2011
    Dutch Mountains
    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.
  13. beaker7 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 16, 2009
    The intern that ran the Mac App Store has left the company so unlikely to get a response.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 12, 2018 ---
    Gold standard ended in 1973. Fiat currencies are worth whatever someone is willing to pay for them, just like crypto.
  14. Amacfa, Mar 12, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018

    Amacfa macrumors 65816


    May 22, 2009
    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.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 12, 2018 ---
    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.
  15. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    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?
  16. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    All I can think is that these developers are scumbags.
  17. Alenore macrumors 6502

    Apr 7, 2013
    You mean they should give you their software for free? This isn't a charity.
  18. Amacfa macrumors 65816


    May 22, 2009
    Oh no, I totally agree with you. Any developer that takes a useful app and hides cryptocurrency mining inside is a very scumbaggy move.
  19. JGRE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2011
    Dutch Mountains
    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.
  20. mejsric macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2013
    Im afraid in the future will be Ads vs Miners
  21. Sasparilla macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2012
    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.

    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.
  22. japanime macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2006
    Do something nefarious without user permission, then blame it on "bugs" when you're caught. Wow.
  23. idunn macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    Anybody like to buy a bridge?
  24. fairuz macrumors 68000


    Aug 27, 2017
    Silicon Valley
    Yeah bye. Hope everyone deletes it and DDoS's them.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 12, 2018 ---
    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.
  25. beaker7 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 16, 2009
    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.

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