Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum

Question

Is CNET Download.com protecting ZoneAlarm

by TWB404 / May 11, 2012 11:59 PM PDT

My reviews for ZoneAlarm have been removed from Download.com. Is it because I am alerting people to the fact that it has the conduit toolbar in it. MY AV alert me to that fact and I am curious why that fact is being hidden. I have never seen a review removed before and it makes me real curious why this has happened. Is ZoneAlarm that big of an advertiser with CNET that they now can demand that bad removes be removed that expose that they have this hideous toolbar in their installer.

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All Answers

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Answer
You don't mean
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 12, 2012 12:04 AM PDT
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I am talking about Download.com
by TWB404 / May 12, 2012 12:20 AM PDT
In reply to: You don't mean

They are gone, they have been scrubbed from the review section. This is very unsettling to think that a reviews can be removed that did not violate site policy. You can go thru the links below and look. They are gone. Does ZoneAlarm have that much influence that they can have reviews removed?

http://download.cnet.com/ZoneAlarm-Free-Antivirus-Firewall/3000-18510_4-75708651.html?tag=dropDownForm;productListing;pop#userreview

http://download.cnet.com/ZoneAlarm-Free-Firewall/3000-10435_4-10039884.html?tag=dropDownForm;productListing;pop#userreview

Below is a link to a screen shot of my AV alerting me to the fact that the web installer has the conduit toolbar in it.

http://i48.tinypic.com/33xk1t2.jpg

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I see
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 12, 2012 5:27 AM PDT

So not a forum matter then.

What was Download.com's response when you reported this in their "Report a problem" link?

Mark

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I would also ask
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 12, 2012 5:46 AM PDT
In reply to: I see

what was ZoneAlarm's response when you reported this problem to them?

You were downloading from their site, whether redirected from Download.com or not.

Mark

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I saw it as a CNET problem
by TWB404 / May 12, 2012 7:27 AM PDT
In reply to: I would also ask

That is why I posted here first. ZoneAlarm still denies they use the Conduit toolbar. My AV says differently. The reason the picture shows the ZoneAlarm website is because Download.com does a redirect as you stated. I though if I was going to grab a screen shot it would be better to grab it while at ZoneAlarm. I can state that when I click on the download now button from Download.com I got the same alert. I would suggest you try it but since you run ZoneAlarm I doubt it will be flagged. If that is true, does it bother you that your security program from ZoneAlarm would not warn you that a program you were downloading contained the Conduit toolbar?

I will let you know if I hear back from Download.com as to why the reviews were deleted. I do think that deleting reviews like this reflects badly on all of CNET not just Download.com.

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And that suspect file
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 12, 2012 7:57 PM PDT

what do the online scanners at Jotti and Virscan say about it?

I'm not arguing with you, but before I would consider posting this;

DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT. DO NOT TRUST A COMPANY THAT HAS A HONEST REVIEW REMOVED SO YOU WILL KNOW WHAT SOMEONES AV HAS TOLD THEM. DO NOT TRUST A COMPANY THAT DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO READ OTHER PEOPLE OPINION OF THEIR PRODUCT. DO NOT TRUST A COMPANY THAT DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO DOWNLOAD A OFFLINE INSTALLER. DO NOT TRUST A COMPANY THAT HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE CONDUIT TOOLBAR. GO TO THE LINK BELOW TO SEE WHAT MY AV TOLD ME.

in any customer review then I would much like to see other evidence, such as responses from any parties involved and any other checks that have been done to confirm that this is not some false positive.

After all that, I would then consider posting some comment or other. But I would be very cautious about spreading conspiracy theories about all over the place without hard evidence.

But then, that is me. The above is you.

Mark

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There are times Mark
by TWB404 / May 13, 2012 12:57 AM PDT
In reply to: And that suspect file

I enjoy your replies more then Bob's. It is rare but it does happen. Like this one.

You ask for evidence that ZoneAlarm is using the Conduit toolbar, as if a screen shot of what my AV said is not good enough. For some reason you see me spreading conspiracy theories. You go on to say that I should have posted more to support my claim and imply that it is a false positive. LMOMBO I do like that one. It seems when ever a good AV alerts its user to a bad PUP people start claiming it is a false positive. They did the same thing with the CNET secure download installer. In the end those of us who said it was not a false positive turned out to be right. I have seen post edited for personal attack or foul language but never have I seen entire post deleted and no reason given. I even had post deleted for the Free Firewall that did not mention the Conduit toolbar. That kind of defeats your conspiracy theory that I did not offer enough evidence.

Lets start with does ZoneAlarm use the conduit toolbar? You claim it might be a false positive. Would the Conduit toolbar site convince you that it is not.

http://toolbar.conduit.com/resources/custom-apps/Integrated/ZoneAlarm.aspx

Conduit openly brags that ZoneAlarm is using its toolbar. Is that hard enough evidence! Now I think that says it all. But like you said, that is just me. I wonder, do you still see me spreading conspiracy theories? Should I still be careful about what I say, even when Conduit has it on their website that this is happening. The real question, is Conduit a good thing or a bad thing? I see it as a bad thing that I do not want any where near my puter and a lot of other people want nothing to do with it. I also have to ask myself, if it is a good thing, why are so many peole trying to tell me that it is not being used when the evidence says it is?

Now lets move on to the fact that they no longer allow the user to download a offline installer. There is no need for them to force a user to use a web installer. Installing any program is a simple task and I know kids to grand parents that can handle that. The fact that they want to take control from the user to do the installation for them makes me go hmmmmmmm. It gave me the same feeling I got when I discovered that CNET had introduced the secure download. I smell some form of spyware when I see these things happen. I have always been proven right once these so called web installers are examined by the more advanced security companies. If they had given the user a choice would have made all the difference in the world. In the end time will tell us the truth about how well this is going to work out for ZoneAlarm.

The truth be told, ZoneAlarm is having real problems and most of it relates to the fact that they drifted away from being about online security. A lot of their paid user are not renewing their license and upgrading to v10. Push back has been severe with the release of v10 and ZoneAlarm, for what ever reason, has ignored what their loyal user have been trying to tell them.

I noticed that you never answered my question. If ZoneAlarm did not alert you to a download that had the Conduit toolbar, would that bother you?

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That's better
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 13, 2012 3:46 AM PDT
In reply to: There are times Mark

It is evidence and a good start.

A shame you didn't post it in your comment.

Mark

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I will make sure I hold others to that
by TWB404 / May 13, 2012 4:52 AM PDT
In reply to: That's better

I will make sure that others who post must show a high degree of evidence to support what their AV is telling them. Devil

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Lets see what happens
by TWB404 / May 12, 2012 1:17 AM PDT
In reply to: You don't mean

I just wrote another one. It is harsh but what I wrote does not contain any spam, curse words, or personal attacks on anyone. It does state that my past reviews have been deleted for some reason and I also posted a link to the screen shot of my AV alerting me to the Conduit toolbar in the web installer. That way no one can say that is not happening. I had 4 or 5 reviews disappear. Not only were my reviews removed from ZoneAlarm Free with AV, my reviews for the free Firewall were also removed except for one back in January. This goes beyond them using the Conduit toolbar because I did not mention that in the free Firewall reviews.

http://download.cnet.com/ZoneAlarm-Free-Antivirus-Firewall/9241-18510_4-12553831.html?messageID=10854866&tag=uo;uo

Is someone trying to protect ZoneAlarm?

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New review doesn't include personal attacks.. but..
by Carol~ Moderator / May 13, 2012 1:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Lets see what happens

You say your most recent review doesn't include "personal attacks". But I see in your two new reviews, they begin with:

'Somehow ZoneAlarm has gone in and had my reviews scrubbed from the review section. This demonstrates just how bad this program is. They are manipulating the reviews and are trying to hide facts from the users who wish to decide what security to use... '

How do you know ZoneAlarm was the responsible party? I don't know if it's (technically) considered a "personal attack", but accusing ZA for their removal and adding they're "manipulating reviews" comes close to it. IMHO.

Maybe there's something included in the Terms of Use (just below the submission box) which would give you a clue as to why they were removed? Confused

I'm only expressing my opinion. What I'm not doing, is looking to get into a (further) discussion about it.

Best of luck..
Carol

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Who else has skin in the game
by TWB404 / May 13, 2012 1:32 AM PDT

In the reviews that were deleted none of that was stated. I did point out that there was far to many first time posting that gave full 5 start glowing reviews and the reader should take that into account. We all know that the reviews at Download.com can and are manipulated. I have even read one of the moderators make fun of that fact. I have also seen reviews edited to remove personal attack but never have I seen one totally removed. Remember that it was 4 or 5 that were removed. The plain Firewall had 2 or 3 and the Firewall and AV had 2 removed. If they felt that I was not being truthful then a reply would have been the best way to handle that like the one ZoneAlarm posted on one of the reviews claiming not to use the Conduit toolbar. I think I offer enough evidence above to prove that they do. If the ones for the Free version had not been removed I would agree with you. I would also state that I have seen reviews that make some of the most outrageous claims and they are not touched. I know this because I have sent in reports on them. Just go and read the claims that the user for Comodo make not only at the ZoneAlarm download site but at its site to.

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Only some personal facts..
by Carol~ Moderator / May 13, 2012 3:37 AM PDT

• I should have made myself clearer. In that, if any of your other (missing) "reviews" were written in the same vein, they might have been subject to removal.

I have no interest in ANY toolbars. I do my research before-hand. (One example used to be making use of the Installer Hall of Shame, prior to Donna's passing) If the software comes with a toolbar checked by default (or not) I don't install the software. (CCleaner being the only exception) I then move on. Period. End of story.

You may have noticed (or not) when referencing software accompanied by a toolbar, I try to remember to include a warning in my posts. With CCleaner I include the link for Slim Build, which comes without the toolbar.

I have no interest in reading reviews. Then there are the "comments" below the reviews, which I have even less interest in.

If when you say, "we all know that the reviews at Download.com can and are manipulated" you're referring to "comments" below the review, then we're dealing with semantics. They may be referred to as "reviews", while I view them as worthless comments, written by a stranger. (Again.. JMO!)

You wrote "If they felt that I was not being truthful then a reply would have been the best way to handle that like the one ZoneAlarm posted on one of the reviews claiming not to use the Conduit toolbar". If you read the terms of use below the submission box, you will see where they state, "We may refuse or remove a User Submission without notice to you"

As I already stated, I have no idea why they were removed. It may not have been about "truthfulness", but more about delivery. Or maybe it had to do with the amount of "reviews"? Hopefully, you'll find out.

With all the above said, I can understand where you might be frustrated or angry. I might have taken a different route. I would have contacted CNET Customer Help asking for an explanation, as soon as I saw my first "comment / review" had been removed. Or perhaps, I would have posted at the Download.com site Feedback Forum. It's just how I do things. You chose a different route. "That's what makes for horse racing!" Happy

Now back to my Sunday chores Wink
Carol

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(NT) "That's what makes horse racing". Scratch the "for" :D
by Carol~ Moderator / May 13, 2012 3:44 AM PDT
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Guess what you just did
by TWB404 / May 13, 2012 4:43 AM PDT

You just replaced Bob as having the my most favorite reply.

Just so you know. I agree with most of what you write but the reviews did not disappear one at a time. They all disappear at the same time. Going back thru different version. It does not state that we can not write a new review for each new release. Even tho I have been accused of not downloading and trying the new version, I have. I did give up downloading and trying the pro version and have not posted anything new about it. I would post a screen shot of the different version I have downloaded, it seem screen shot do not convince some people. I think what started this was at the ZoneAlarm Firewall with AV they reset it as if a new version had been released. I checked and downloaded the web installer and ran it. I got the same results as before and posted another review. Then I found out that there was no new version. Just the review section had been reset as if there had been. Now someone made a mistake or someone reset that as if there was a new version to roll back the bad reviews so only the new glowing 5 star reviews would be seen. Someone did something to manipulate that part of it. It could be said that I posted a review twice for the same version but anyone who is familiar knows that can not be done. Once you post for a particular version you can only post an update for it. Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

I know that they may refuse or remove a user submission without notice to me. My only point to all this is if CNET or anyone else is going to start removing negative reviews that point out that a program contains a toolbar that the company claims it does not have then why have them at all. The reviews are like this forum. It is about sharing information and opinions and yes, i know my opinion does really upset some people. ZoneAlarm is using the Conduit toolbar but at the same time they are denying it. I have even had them install that toolbar after I have removed the check to decline it. I know that we are just posting opinions and they are like belly buttons. We all have one. Most things I remain silent on. If you go and check, I tried Comodo once and found it to be far worst then anything I have ever tried passing as a Firewall. You will find just one review on it and that is all. There was a time that ZoneAlarm was the king of Firewalls. It is important to let new user know thru the review section that they are not what they use to be. They are now trading on an outdated reputation. Yes, I do post with each new release. I even post a review if there is no new version but it has been reset as if there is one.

As far as posting here and not Download.com forum. Your right, this is what makes a horse race. I see this as a serious security issue. So I posted it here in the security forum. The reason I see it as a security issue is for 2 reason. I have raised both of them thru out all my post but I will list them one more time.

The first and most important reason is the Conduit toolbar.

The second is the fact that somehow at the link below you will find that the reviews section was reset as if a new version was released. If you go down to the reviews you will find that there is only 6 reviews for the latest version. If you click to view all version and scroll thru them you will find that all of them are for the same version, 10.2.047. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmm.


http://download.cnet.com/ZoneAlarm-Free-Antivirus-Firewall/3000-18510_4-75708651.html?tag=dropDownForm;productListing;pop#userreview

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