No Miner left Behind
Yeah, ok, just kidding and the truth is Ubuntu isn’t entirely to blame but some users may not see it this way. If that sounds complicated, its because it is.
Ubuntu’s store has responsibility for products being sold there — at least, this is what most users think.
The truth, however is that it takes enormous resources to go through all the code submitted for apps and few stores other than Apple end up doing this thoroughly.
A few are arguing that no harm was done, no worms were installed, no backdoors created, just a bit of cpu time used to do some remote mining, ha ha.
My computer never seems fast enough so this would have tee’d me off too, so if you’re one of those caught in this scam, we feel you. Someone used your computer to make money and quite frankly didn’t give you any of it.
So what happened?
Canonical pulled the offending app and the developer’s other submissions. We are told that the apps will eventually be re-listed without the mining code.
The first question worth asking, in this case, is whether the publisher was in fact doing anything wrong, considering that mining cryptocurrency is not illegal or unethical by itself.
That perspective was indeed taken by the publisher in question here, who informed us that the goal was to monetize software published under licenses that allow it, unaware of the social or technical consequences. The publisher offered to stop doing that once contacted.
Of course, it is misleading if there is no indication of the secondary purpose of the application. That’s in fact why the application was taken down in the store. There are no rules against mining cryptocurrencies, but misleading users is a problem.