Everyone’s favourite lightweight Torrent app, µTorrent, has turned into a shady trojan horse for a new cryptocurrency mining app called “Epic Scale”. Reports started coming in about the stealth installation of this app along with the latest update, which I personally attest to, because literally, the sneaky install happened to me too. The software auto-installs with the latest update, and mines Litecoins. When I clicked on the app, it said it was for a mission to help some charity organization. Bullshit.
I promptly installed it, and ran the usual cleaners, to ride myself of it, plus a heavy dose of malware scanning. While a company spokes person did say that the usual uninstall works just fine, I’m just not buying that from a stealth install piece of software.
The Epic Scale software apparently uses both GPU and CPU crunching to turn a profit for its benefactors. But it’s also a potentially dangerous piece of software that can run your system at higher then normal temperatures because of increased load. In fact, it could damage your system according to the software’s user agreement:
“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.”
While this sort of behaviour isn’t unexpected by cryptominers that build rigs that run at their max speeds at all times, it’s another thing when you do that to people’s gear without their knowledge.
I’m extremely disappointed that the µTorrent would do this. I recognize that the company does provide the software free and all, but they are already supported by ads, and cheesing off their user base like this, is no way to make friends. Just look what happened to Lenovo and their SuperFish FAIL.
I guess I’ll be looking for a new client to use. Any suggestions?