With well over 150 million active users a month uTorrent is by far the most used BitTorrent client around.
The application brings in revenue through in-app advertising and also presents users with “offers” to try out third-party software when installed or updated.
These offers are usually not placed on users’ machines without consent, but this week many users began complaining about a “rogue” offer being silently installed.
The complaints mention the Epic Scale tool, a piece of software that generates revenue through cryptocurrency mining. To do so, it uses the host computer’s CPU cycles.
Epic Scale is flagged by many anti-virus vendors. However, it has been included with uTorrent for several weeks already, without any significant complaints. However, starting this week many users reported that the software was installed without any notification.
“This is pure bloatware, just updated my uTorrent. There was no notification about the software it just installed,” Aiziag complains.
“Got this installed quietly when upgraded U-Torrent. When I arrived home this evening my PC was running at full tilt and practically blowing steam. I felt like it was going to catch fire,” Daniel adds.
The issue was also brought up at the uTorrent forums, but the initial thread was deleted by a moderator. Meanwhile, many more complaints started pouring in, mostly on the freefixer website.
“Just updated uTorrent and it didn’t tell me anything about that total f*cked up ‘Epic Scale’ trash, which constantly keeps popping up with ‘Could not connect to server’,” Simon writes.
“Noticed the laptop was ‘laggy’ and then I saw the mysterious E in the taskbar. Blamed the kids again but then I saw the Utorrent update comments and bingo, me too,” Ian notes.