The latest update to the uTorrent client includes a piece of software, Epic Scale, used to mine a Bitcoin-esque cryptocurrency known as Litecoin, which VICE reports could blow up your computer based on the software’s terms of service which reads:
You release Epic Scale and its agents […] from and against all claims […] arising from or related to (i) the use of the Application on your computer, including without limitation any blowouts or other damage to your computer from overheating due to intensive use of graphics cards or chips, or any slowing of your processing speed.
Epic Scale reportedly comes packaged with the latest update to the uTorrent client, which is one of the most popular torrent clients to date with more than a hundred million reported users.
The installation of the controversial software was made evident by a member of uTorrent’s complaint forum who posted a message regarding an autonomic installation attached to the latest build: uTorrent version 3.4.2 build 28913.
News BTC reported that the forum user indicated that there “was no information” regarding the installation of EpicScale and that they “did opt out” of receiving any bundled software while installing the latest update to the client.
When I updated uTorrent to version 3.4.2 build 28913 (32-bit) this morning it silently installed a piece of software called EpicScale […] There was no information about this during installation and I did opt out of your other bundled software.
Bitcoin mining software has been used by botnet owners as a means through which infected computers can be monetized. The software basically employs the processing power of, in the case of botnets, compromised machines to crunch mathematical equations in exchange for cryptocurrency.
uTorrent’s parent company, BitTorrent, confirmed in a statement to The Verge that the program was bundled with the latest update, but had disputed the notion that it was being installed without user consent. The company’s statement read:
We have reviewed the issue closely and can confirm there is no silent install happening…. Most likely these users accepted the offer during install […] Like many software companies, we have partner offers in our install path and our policy is that they are strictly optional.
In other technology coverage here on Immortal News, reports have indicated that an NSA-linked hacking group, dubbed “Equation” by Kaspersky’s analysts who discovered the global infection, was behind an espionage program which installed previously hidden backdoor computer viruses on the firmware of hard-drives built by various major manufacturers.
What do you think of uTorrent’s latest client update installing the EpicScale software to mine cryptocurrency in the background of their users computers?