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BitTorrent and uTorrent are being detected as threats by multiple antivirus, including Windows Defender

27 mayo, 2021

Not for the first time since TRON bought BitTorrent, both uTorrent and BitTorrent applications they have been flagged by multiple antivirus as potential threats. After reading in TorrentFreak that this was happening again, in Genbeta we downloaded uTorrent Web, uTorrent classic and BitTorrent for Windows to check it.

According to VirusTotal analysis, all files are detected as malware by multiple antivirus engines, including Microsoft’s Windows Defender in some cases, ESET NOD32, McAfee, TrendMicro, GDATA, and more.

BitTorrent: what is torrenting and how does it work?

A dozen antivirus engines detect uTorrent.exe as a threat

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Not only that, the threats detected are classified as high severity for containing “potentially unwanted software”, which could be related to the AdWare injection. While some engines detect a possible Trojan, others directly indicate “malware” or “unwanted”.

If you download torrents, activate this function in Windows Explorer and never forget to check the file extensions

Multiple entries also mention “Web Companion” as the possible culprit for the alert. As they point out on TorrentFreak, this probably refers to the Lavasoft Ad-Aware software that is sometimes bundled within uTorrent.

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At the time of writing this note BitTorrent client is already detected by 9 antivirus engines as a threat, one more than what they reported on TorrentFreak. As we said before, this is not the first time this has happened. Earlier in TRON they have said that it is false positives, but the problem persists.

Thus our recommendation is to opt for alternatives like qBiTorrent, which in addition to being open source comes completely free of bundles or ads, and also lets you download torrents directly from its integrated search engine, without the potential risks of a brand that already has a long history of security problems.