By Devanshi Saxena
For an internet buff, uTorrent is definitely not an unknown territory. To avoid any hassles in downloading content from the Internet, uTorrent, one of the most famous clients of BitTorrent, is the most sought-after option. It allows unrestricted access to its users allowing them to download files quickly and for free. Nevertheless, Bit Torrent, with 150 million users per month, is facing backlash due to their latest update design which has hampered the software functioning of the users’ computers.
As one user explained in the uTorrent forums, a new software was installed on his computer system without any prior notification. The user realised this only when he noticed that the processor was consuming more resources than its normal range. Some users also stated that they could not uninstall the program completely from their computer systems. It is evident that uTorrent has a lot of vulnerabilities and bugs many people are not aware of.
The critical vulnerabilities of uTorrent
As per the claims of a Google Project Zero researcher, Tavis Ormandy, easy-to-exploit vulnerabilities have been detected in the two versions of uTorrent which is one of the Internet’s most widely used BitTorrent apps. These structural flaws allow unauthorised access to attackers to execute code, access downloaded files and snoop on download histories. The vulnerabilities, according to Project Zero, make it possible for any website visited by a user to control key functions in both the uTorrent desktop app for Windows and in uTorrent Web.
The flaws in uTorrent affecting the users
For users, uTorrent bugs sneaking into the computer systems and increasing the risks of hacking and snooping is a prime safety concern. The biggest threat is posed by malicious sites that could exploit the flaw to download malicious code into the Windows start-up folder, where it will be automatically run the next time the computer boots up. In a bid to allay the inconvenience caused to the users, uTorrent developers are in the process of rolling out fixes for both the desktop app for Windows and the newer web product.
Methods being used to avoid a possible cyber-space intrusion
BitTorrent has issued a fix in its latest beta release and plans to push a new stable version by the end of this week. The web version of uTorrent has already been repaired, according to Dave Rees, Vice President of engineering at BitTorrent. “We highly encourage all uTorrent Web customers to update to the latest build 0.12.0.502 available on our website and also via the in-application update notification,” he said in an email to the users.
Another logical option, as suggested by the tech-savvy users, is to stop using the service until the root cause of the issue is eradicated. Torrent Freak has already included a list of certain possible alternatives for users who wish to abandon this P2P client while looking for safer options. qBittorrent, BitTornado, Vuze or Tribler are some of the options available to continue with secure downloading without any associated risks.
This uTorrent episode provides an insightful peek into the realm of cyber-space. A very important takeaway is the issue of cybersecurity. It is always prudent to follow all the guidelines of the safety manual before proceeding with the installation. This becomes crucial as hackers may seek to gain unsanctioned access to consume software-processor resources or for any particular ulterior motives.
Featured Image Source: Pixabay
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