A recent uTorrent update is bundled with Epic Scale, a piece of  Litecoin mining software. Users claim they were tricked into installing it.

Many uTorrent users are complaining that the latest update to the popular torrent client includes unrelated software that slows down users’ computers. Scanning with various antivirus applications helped to identify this as Epic Scale, a cryptocurrency miner. Once the application is installed, it starts using CPU cycles, slowing the computer down and consuming more power. In fact, the computer becomes a part of a Litecoin farm – and the user receives nothing in compensation.

The news aroused a general sense of indignation among users, especially as some complained that there was “never a warning” about Epic Scale being installed. Furthermore, it was revealed that the application is not easy to uninstall: it did not appear in the Windows “Programs and Features” list and it took special software to get rid of it. Many decided to stop using uTorrent as a result: in a number of forum threads, users are compiling lists of alternative torrent clients.

However, representatives of BitTorrent told The Verge that nothing was installed without the users’ prior consent. “We have reviewed the issue closely and can confirm there is no silent install happening... most likely, the users accepted the offer during the install”. This has been confirmed by EnGadget and Winbeta.

During the installation of uTorrent, a window appears offering to set up Epic Scale as well. It contains the following text:

We believe in making the world a better place. Join us to help support organizations working to cure AIDS, provide fresh water, and plant trees for generations to come. By installing Epic Scale, your computer’s screen saver solves math problems to help provide needed resources to today’s charities improving tomorrow’s world.

To install Epic Scale, users need to click on the “Accept Offer” button, which many can do without reading the text. According to BitTorrent, Epic Scale is “a great partner for us to continue to generate revenue for the company, while contributing funds to [philanthropy]”.