These eight characters are in fact a number – in hexadecimal. More precisely, it's the CRC-32 checksum (also called a hash) of the entire file. It's likely to have been put in there to let you check whether your file is not corrupted or truncated.
Regarding the choice of CRC: Algorithms such as MD5 and SHA are much more common these days, but their output is much longer (starting with 128 bits, or 32 hex digits), and CRC, although weak, serves its purpose well of detecting environmental damage.
Personally, I see little point in that. BitTorrent already includes a hash (hashes for every piece actually) and every piece is verified during the download. But I suppose putting the hash in the name could be useful when using FTP for distribution.