If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of BitTorrent’s uTorrent users, you need to read this. Just recently, uTorrent has come under fire from its computer services users after word got out that the software’s latest update came bundled with Bitcoin mining software called Epic Scale. To make matters worse, it’s alleged that the installation took place without the users being aware of it – an allegation that uTorrent’s creators BitTorrent, has flatly denied.
So let’s talk actual facts. Exactly what is Epic Scale?
Epic Scale is a piece of software that claims to use your ‘unused processing power to change the world.’ What does that mean, precisely? Basically, what Epic Scale does is mine Bitcoin for charitable purposes whilst also helping process scientific data or so they claim. Computer services professionals have pointed out that whilst on paper this is not a problem; the matter of whether or not it is being silently installed without the user’s knowledge is still in question.
To test BitTorrent’s claims, some users went ahead and downloaded the latest uTorrent version – 3.4.2 build 38913. During the installation, there was more than one offer for bundled software. The software in question, Epic Scale, does let you option out of downloading it as BitTorrent claims by clicking the Decline Offer button.
So why are users still complaining? How does Epic Scale affect computers?
Fact of the matter is, if you’re like the majority of computer services users who speed click on the NEXT button during installation, you would have accidentally downloaded and installed Epic Scale and wouldn’t even know about it. This is also primarily why Epic Scale is what most techs refer to as riskware – software that doesn’t necessarily pose a threat per se but has the possibility of being abused by malware to gain access and control of your computer.
This said, BitTorrent needs to rethink or perhaps redesign their installer with their users in mind so issues like this would not happen in the future.