uTorrent silently installs cryptocurrency-miner with latest release (Updated)

The popular Bittorrent client uTorrent has started to bundle a cryptocurrency miner in its latest release. The software allegedly mines cryptocoins for charity, but uTorrent also get a share of the generated revenue. Users who update report the software is silently installed, without a warning.

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Users who don’t update, but install the software for the first time, are prompted whether the cryptocurrency miner Epic Scale should be installed. Users on the official uTorrent forum report that when updating their torrent client the cryptocurrency-miner is silently installed with no questions asked. “I was never informed about this”, one of the users writes.

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Epic Scale uses CPU cycles to generate the crypto coins, but not apparently not all, as the uTorrent FAQ reports,  “Epic Scale is a cryptocurrency miner that uses a portion of your CPU cycles to contribute to the mining effort. A portion of the proceeds from this effort go to philanthropic initiatives.”

It’s unclear which cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or Litecon,  Epic Scale mines. Besides mining cryptocoins, the Epic Scale software will also be employed for  other initiatives, “such as Genome mapping and other academic studies that require a great deal of processing power”, the FAQ mentions.

At the time this article went live, the uTorrent forums were down, stating, “This Account Has Been Suspended”.

Update: A spokesperson of Bittorrent Inc, the developers of uTorrent, contacted us and states that no silent installs are and should be happening. He writes, “we’ve reviewed this issue very closely and can confirm there is no silent install happening.” The spokesperson also claims there have been only a dozen of complaints after millions of installs.
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