Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum


Simple Timer program download bundled w/ Sweetpacks Malware

by hreams / July 11, 2013 3:27 AM PDT

warning: i downloaded "Simple Timer" program from cnet and got a surprise. i got Sweetpacks which creates all kinds of problems. it's a browser hijacker virus. good luck getting rid of it. im about ready to do a clean install. SHAME ON CNET FOR ALLOWING THIS ACTIVITY ON THEIR SITE. i will no long recommend cnet for any tech advise. cnet your name is poop in my book.

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We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience here.
by CNETSupport / July 11, 2013 6:20 AM PDT

SweetPacks is an offer currently running in the CNET Download.com Installer, and as such, has been tested to ensure it complies with our policies prohibiting malware and viruses. However, I do understand this can be a nuisance to remove, and I have shared your comments with the appropriate site managers for investigation.

In future, you can download without using the CNET Download.com Installer by clicking the "Direct Download Link" for Installer Enabled items.

Read more about that option here:


For more detailed information on the CNET Download.com Installer itself, please visit the following resource:


You should normally be able to uninstall any offer(s) via your computer's Add/Remove Programs panel, but if for some reason that does not work, you might want to try one of the programs listed in our uninstaller software category (keeping in mind that some do use the CNET Installer too):


Uninstall instructions for SweetPacks in particular are here:


And instructions for resetting your browser(s), if you need them, are here:


Should you need any further assistance, please contact our support team directly by filling out the form on the following page:


CNET Customer Help

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sweetpacks should not even be a option
by hreams / July 11, 2013 11:08 AM PDT

this is ridiculous. who would possibly want browser hijacking malware on their computer? it's very sad that cnet

has stooped to this level of greed. once a trusted site for software is now a trap for the consumer.

just to be clear for the unknowing. the complete name of the software i wanted to download was "simple

shutdown timer."

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Still unable to completely remove sweetpacks
by crazy13cougar13 / October 23, 2013 3:50 PM PDT

I followed all directions and tried to restore computer. It removes everything for awhile it seems then every few weeks sweetpacks tries to hijack my browser again. It puts up an thing saying cannot connect to sweetpacks and my browser session and all windows has to be closed and reopened. Cnet should have been more careful.

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SweetPacks Removal..
by Carol~ Forum moderator / October 23, 2013 11:10 PM PDT


I don't know which directions you followed. If you wish additional help (completely) removing SweetPacks, consider creating a new thread.

In the meantime........

If you haven't continued to download software from Download.com (which would cause its return) .... did you scan with AdwCleaner and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware as instructed in the below guide?

SweetPacks Toolbar and SweetIM Toolbar Removal Guide


Another guide to make use of which recommends most of the same tools: Remove Sweetpacks Toolbar (Removal Guide) I would recommend reading both.

If the above fails to help, please create a new thread supplying as many details as possible. To include your operating system, what you tried and exactly what problems you're experiencing.

Best of luck..

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We completely understand your concern

I completely understand your concern and its bad to hear for such a trusted

But you can not blame CNET for that as in the "Download Now" button there is
a small information which reads the following -

The Download.com Installer is a tiny ad-supported stub installer or
"download manager" that helps securely deliver your downloads from
Download.com's servers. Our testing has shown that as many as half of all
people who initiate a download fail to complete the download and install
their software. The Download.com Installer improves the process by walking
you through the steps of your download and enabling you to easily find and
execute your software's installer. For more information, read the FAQ.

Moreover while installing using the CNET Installer you get the options to
uncheck the additional software, therefore you can not blame CNET for the

Note that I am not posting on behalf of CNET.

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You need to get up to date.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 15, 2013 10:24 AM PDT

This appears to have become more invasive recently and now packs more options and is no longer a simple "No." to avoid SweetPacks and apparently Bing.

Please do more research before you post again.

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got the same with FreeRIPCD, apparently it was NOT FREE!!
by DChrisL / July 22, 2013 12:23 AM PDT

there were a total of 6 items bundled with: I unchecked three but it installed sweetim, sweetpacks and changed my primary address in my Internet Explorer, Three declined. Got a similar item, also from downloads.cnet.com, that was already installed. That was Realtek HD audio driver. Someone had complained that the sites I use were at cnet downloads. They show you a link as to where is the homepage on both, namely http://www.filehippo.com and http://www.majorgeeks.com. On the latter is from their sites link.
This is also true for http://mac.majorgeeks.com. R.Proffitt, you are now corrected. Darrell

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You have to do far more than uncheck to avoid this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 22, 2013 12:28 AM PDT

I know all members want a reply to each query on this but for now Download.com seems to have cut a deal with Sweetpacks and made it very hard to avoid.

What you checked or unchecked would let it install and I am not arguing with anyone about this here. The moderators have made their position clear so if you go to download.com, you know what will happen.

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Better uninstall process
by LDSmith22 / October 30, 2013 1:38 AM PDT

I understand the concept of reading the fine print; but, at the least, this application should have a much easier uninstall process if it is to be included in a download by the reputable CNET company.

Frankly, the removal instructions are exactly like removing a virus and not removing a simple, reputable program.

In my case, a family member not normally used to doing our home laptop maintenance downloaded a new application (I think it was an Adobe product, but have not confirmed that for sure yet). Sweetpacks showed up and I have now spent 2 weeks trying to remove and stabilize my laptop. I believe I now have all Sweetpack references removed; but, the laptop now hangs up on the "Shutting Down" screen and I have to do an improper hard shutdown to be able to access the laptop again.

At this point, I am strongly considering purchasing a new laptop purely because of the problems directly attributable to getting the Sweetpacks package. Sure, it might be my fault (or family members' fault) for downloading this package in the first place; but, the result is basically a trashed laptop due to the difficulty of undoing that mistake.

As with others, I am done with CNET unless they can assure a more seamless reversal of this type of program.

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my solution to clean up cnets mess
by hreams / January 4, 2014 5:05 AM PST

spyware blaster
spybot search and destroy

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