uTorrent comes bundled with crypto-miner
uTorrent’s latest update may be hijacking computers to turn a profit. According to a report from Trusted Reviews, the latest update to the popular torrent management software comes bundled with a program called Epic Scale, a Windows program that uses the computer’s processor to mine a bitcoin variant called Litecoin in the background. Many users were unaware that their computers were being used to mine the currency, and only discovered the program was running after noticing the significant increase in processor load.
There is no silent install happening.
In a statement to The Verge, uTorrent’s parent company BitTorrent confirmed that the program was bundled, but disputed that it was happening without user consent. “We have reviewed the issue closely and can confirm there is no silent install happening…. Most likely these users accepted the offer during install,” a representative wrote. “Like many software companies, we have partner offers in our install path and our policy is that they are strictly optional.”
Bitcoin miners are a common way for botnet owners to make a profit off of compromised machines, leaving users to bear the cost of the excess computing power, which has left a lot of mining software with a less than savory reputation. Users that don’t notice the program may find significantly decreased performance as a result. In a forum thread, uTorrent recommended that dissatisfied users uninstall Epic Scale and remove the associated folder.