uTorrent is being blocked by Google Chrome and Anti-virus companies for including adware
The popular torrent client, uTorrent is being blocked by Google Chrome and Anti-virus companies for including adware.
Earlier, uTorrent used to contain the infamous, and really annoying software, that everyone hates, the Ask Toolbar.
The bundled PUP (Potentially Unwanted Program) used to be bundled in the installer of the torrent app, and if the user was unwary, it could change the browser’s default homepage to the Ask website, and also install the website’s toolbar, which was quite difficult to get rid of. Microsoft recently had enough of this, and blocked older versions of the toolbar a as malicious app.
But this is not the reason for uTorrent’s latest troubles. TorrentFreak reports that the torrenting app is being flagged for bundling a PUP called OpenCandy. This is not something new, the adware has been known to be included in many reputed software installers including the popular free anti-virus, Avast. Yes, an anti-virus vendor bundling adware in to its own app. If I remember correctly, it was reportedly installed if the user did not uncheck to install the optional “Software updater”.
Technically OpenCandy is not a virus, but it does change the browsing experience of the user, which is why Google has blocked downloads of uTorrent in Chrome browser, as part of Google Safe Browsing protocol.
The image featured above is from Google Chrome, which flags the uTorrent website for containing “harmful programs.”
Curiously, I tried to access the website, and it works perfectly, and no part of the website was blocked. And I was also able to download uTorrent using the latest version of Google Chrome beta [Version 44.0.2403.89 beta-m (64-bit)]. So, I am not sure whether this warning message appears only in certain Countries. Or maybe it just appears in the latest stable version of Chrome.
Next comes the issue with anti-virus vendors and uTorrent. This is not the first time OpenCandy has been detected as a PUP by a virus scanner. But it is apparently the first time that uTorrent is being flagged by multiple anti-virus companies at once.
A scan done using the online virus scanner, VirusTotal, resulted in uTorrent reported as a malicious app for containing “Trojan.Win32.Generic!BT and OpenCandy“. The former, is an adware infamous for redirecting web traffic and also potentially putting the computer at risk, by downloading/installing malicious apps or changing Windows’ settings.
If you have uTorrent on your computer, and wish to remove OpenCandy, we recommend using the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to scan for and remove the adware from your computer.