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Virus and crapware in CNET downloads

by jcunn1ngham / February 3, 2013 11:12 PM PST

Yesterday I downloaded "BatteryCare" from CNET. As it happened, there was a scheduled MSE scan running at the same time. After ticking as few boxes as possible I installed the program but when I subsequently tried to run it nothing happened. On checking the MSE scan I found two viruses had been quarantined with a date and time coincident with the download and installation. I immediately removed the viruses--too hastily for now I don't know what they were--and uninstalled the recently downloaded "BatteryCare."
On restarting IE Explorer, to download virus checkers, I found that it had been hijacked by the "Blekko" search engine which could not be removed or replaced.
I downloaded virus checkers on another computer, restarted the infected computer in safe mode and ran a full MS SafetyScan from a usb key. It found nothing--I would have been happier if it found something.
While the machine was still in safe mode I went about removing the Blekko malware by searching the registry for "Blekko" and exporting and deletiing any entries I found. There was one entry I did not delete because it had a lot of sub-keys and I am not yet sure it can be safely deleted. It was a full day's work and I am not entirely confident the machine is clean. I will have to make further checks.
Either the program or the CNET download site is contaminated and I will not, in the future, be able to download software from CNET with any confidence.

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I've alerted this one for you.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 3, 2013 11:28 PM PST

On another note, I use BatteryBar Pro. Beware these battery "care" apps. Not all work so try a few. None should claim anything other than measurement.

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by jcunn1ngham / February 6, 2013 8:36 PM PST

Thanks for the advice. I was looking for a win 7 'powercfg -energy' equivalent that would run on Vista. I will try BatteryBar Pro.

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Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
by CNETSupport / February 4, 2013 3:21 AM PST

I have created a proxy ticket in our support system for this issue, and will pass it along to our Product Management Team so they may double check the install file of the program. If any malware is found, they will temporarily remove the product from our library and notify the publisher of the problem. I will also contact you via e-mail if we need any further information, and to let you know what they find.

In future, please feel free to contact our support team directly by filling out the form at the following link:

CNET Customer Help

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by jcunn1ngham / February 6, 2013 8:39 PM PST

Thank you for your response and the support link. I look forward to reading the findings of your Product Management Team.

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