Latest uTorrent update includes Bitcoin mining software, may slow your PC


Whether you use uTorrent to legally download content or for purposes that would fall under the “other” category, beware, the latest update comes with a piece of software that will convert your PC into a Bitcoin miner.

During the install process of some popular free apps, the installer may try to trick you into installing third-party software that you want nothing to do with. As is reportedly the case with uTorrent (version 3.4.2 specifically) which includes a Bitcoin mining software called Epic Scale. This application would then connect your computer to a Bitcoin farm, using up the PC’s CPU cycles to do the processing. As a result, the PC would slow to a crawl under use with high levels of heat and power consumption being the side effects.

The tricks used to get software like this installed have gotten more creative recently, as they have started taking advantage of our habit of clicking next, next, next, accept, and finish in rapid succession during installs. One of those “nexts” or even a terms of use checkbox could be used to trick you into installing unwanted software.

Upon users filing reports, uTorrent support confirmed that Epic Scale cannot be installed without user consent and can be uninstalled easily, however further reports from the uTorrent forums suggest otherwise. Some users complained that the application doesn’t show up in the Programs and Features uninstall list, while others said that they were required to use anti-adware software to get rid of it completely. Epic Scale on the other hand confirmed that while the app can be uninstalled, it does leave registry keys behind.

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