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CNET packaging malware into its downloads?

by jtimothy / October 29, 2012 7:30 AM PDT

I downloaded 2 apps from CNET's downloads.com and my Norton Security Suite flagged them both.

The products: http://tinyurl.com/8shanl2 (read the user comments!) and http://tinyurl.com/9qjkadc (read the user comments!)

I have exported Noton's comments to this file (excel format): www.johntimDOTcom/cnet/malware.xls

I used to trust CNET, but no more. The lesson is, read the user comments and have a good malware protection system in place.

Shame on you, CNET!

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Are those PUPs?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 29, 2012 7:38 AM PDT

The xls file didn't work so I'm left to guess you are repeating the old CNET Installer PUP discussion.

Did you try the Direct Download link? It skips the CNET installer.
Bob

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The XLS file works fine.
by asawadude / November 14, 2012 4:43 PM PST
In reply to: Are those PUPs?

Bob, I take it that the red "M" indicates that you're a moderator? And also a CNET employee?

I've noticed that in most of the posts complaining of an inadvertent installation of CNET's spyware, you've asked if the user has tried using the "Direct Download" link.

Let me ask you this: The CNET Installer has a big green button that says DOWNLOAD NOW. The "Direct Download" link is in small letters, probably 1/20th the size of the green button. Which do you think unsuspecting users are more likely to click on?

<div>Everything is designed to force users to use the CNET installer and to install the revenue generating pieces of spyware contained in the installer. Yes, there are choices presented to the user, but those choices are disguised through the use of font sizes, colors, and confusing words by CNET's web and app designers. The uneducated user doesn't stand a chance.

What CNET has done here is undefendable.

By the way, jtimothy's file is absolutely retrievable. Try replacing the "DOT" with a period (.) in the link he provided. Go to

http://www.johntim.com/cnet/ and you'll see the index of his cnet directory. </div>

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All moderators are volunteers.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 15, 2012 12:47 AM PST

And try to supply help where they can.

I didn't find an answer to my question so I can only think you are upset about all this. For now I'll offer the advice on how to get a direct download and continue to watch for installs that install PUPs when I opted out.

Bob

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Downloads on CNET contain lots of terrible "extras"
by Stuartacohn / November 8, 2012 9:18 PM PST

My computer has been infected after I downloaded "free" software from CNET downloads. It has happened more than once and each time it was after I downloaded something from CNET.

I did not give permission for the download to install extra browser (I unclick the box) and it does it anyway!!!!! These people need to be in JAIL!

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Link please.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 9, 2012 1:38 AM PST

I'll try this and see if an extra browser is installed.

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