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You have to be careful about
It's well discussed and I've yet to see this happen if I opt out or use the direct download. There is some debate if this is malware or just a toolbar that sets your homepage. Not much reason to discuss this again but here's the recent discussion you must read -> http://forums.cnet.com/7723-6132_102-591642/imminent-toolbar-spyware/?tag=contentBody;threadListing
There is reason.....
To quote Bob..." Not much reason to discuss this again." Wrong... plenty of reason to discuss this. C/NET has long been one of my favorite and most trusted sites, for everything, including downloading helpful apps to try or buy. The packaging of malware is not something the faithful users of C/NET should expect or tolerate. If the reason is because of using or not using direct download, then C/NET should not allow any option for faithful users to be plagued by a pesky browser hijacker, toolbar installer, or any other unwanted software. It may be the new "way of the world" to market products, but that is because it is now being allowed by C/NET. Don't you get it??? The credibility of C/NET is at stake here. There is much that should be discussed, so please don't patronize me and send me off to another recent discussion link about the same problem that is not resolved.
I wish this would happen to me.
Sorry but I've tried this over a hundred times and can't seem to catch the malware folk write about. It seems folk are ready to flame anyone that answers and let's hope you are different.
I did the best I could....
...to present the problem in the most legitimate terms. I even named the software package. I'm being honest about how I feel, or used to feel, about the trust I have, or had, with anything I downloaded from C/NET. I even tried to discuss how this could hurt the credibility of C/NET. You've taken my honesty and returned it with a lame accusation of how I am "flaming" you. Simply because this hasn't happened to means, in your eyes, it never happened. I was hoping to have reassurance and a decent discussion, but it appears you are almost taking a governmental stance on the issue. I'm sorry I disturbed your nap. Maybe my quandary will wake someone that can support my concern about what "tags along" with downloads from C/NET.
But I offered this so you can read where you can avoid the CNET installer and some possible toolbar.
I see you noted the app in question so let me go install that as a test. Here's the link I'll use.
Just for you I'll not use the Direct Download Link. BRB.
cbsidlm-tr1_13-CutePDF_Writer-SEO-10206470 was downloaded, now installing.
I declined the WaJam offer.
It's downloading CutePDF now.
The CutePDF installer is up now.
I'm declining the Ask toolbar as well as it's offer to change my search provider (not CNET downloader doing the, just CutePDF's installer offer)
I'm declining CutePDF's offer for "HotSpot Shield."
It needs a PS2PDF app so I said OK to that.
A quick scan shows no extra toolbars or the item you noted.
Sorry but I did this and didn't get the items you wrote about.
I went the extra mile just for you. Can you tell me if you accepted any of the extras I declined?
Scans underway. Nothing found.
And my email is working.
Hopefully you see why such is heavily discussed and I like folk to ask this but wish it would happen to me so I can document and kick it up to those I know.
I have the www.hotspotshield.com installed,
on my laptop and my desktop. This was the only item that was clean of any extras from cnet.downloads.com. It a had three check boxes on it, I unchecked all of them. One was a desktop icon, the 2nd one was to add it to my sites in Internet Explorer, That was a BIG NO! The same with a quick launch icon. The only problems I have hit was sending to this forum, faked out Facebook, same with something I will not say what, www.secunia.com PSI 3.0 would not work originally, the icon was gray until I double clicked from the right side of my mouse and that worked. Then there was www.tigerdirct.com, had a similar situation: If the asked if I was in CA or Ohio, I said: Yes. But since it sends information of being in other states, seven ISP's said I was at a different ISP I'm in FL, my ISP is Comcast. the free Constant Guard will not work. No problem, I downloaded two free NORTON 360's; then deleted constant guard and vaultID. When I send this to you, I will pause it until I turn it back on.
Be careful about this thread.
The story changed from initial install to what we found later.
And the same story of unchecking items yet SweetPacks still installed. I said no too yet it installed.
Please post in the Download.com forum from now on.
I did custom install. I check edit NOT to install conduit.
I did a custom install..and said no to conduit..and then I even decided not to even install anything..but conduit installed anyway and hijacked my browser. I even uninstalled it before I opened the browser and it installed itself anyway. Same on cnet. I never agreed to conduit and the other crap they installed. I specifically said no. I unchecked tithe box. Shame on cnet. Program was free PDF. Cnet needs to stop thi.now.
I had the same item installed and found a solution for it.
It is listed as search protected and more but if you have SuperAntispyware installed, run a scan. They will all be listed. I have the free edition of SAS. you can click on the items and find where they are in the registry. My OS is WIN7 Home Premium. This a link to SAS: http://www.superantispyware.com/ Darrell
This in re: search.conduit malware
This discussion is not about the conduit.
Thanks. I think I see it added a BING search.
Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
We are having our Product Management Team re-test CutePDF Writer.
If they find any issues, they will temporarily remove the product from our library and notify the publisher of the problem.
We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused in the meantime.
CNET Customer Help
After Sweetpacks snuck in, it downloaded a few friends. I forwarded the screen shots to Lee Koo.
-> Sweetpacks is masquerading as a Bing search from what I can tell. At lease Web Of Trust alerted me about this as well.
I've added those screenshots to the bug filed for this issue.
My personal thanks to cozmo50 and Bob..
My personal thanks to cozmo50 for reporting it. Added regrets for the problems encountered.
And my thanks to Bob for his persistence and determination when attempting to ... "get to the bottom of it".
Update on the CutePDF Writer download
Our Product Management Team finished re-testing this download. They were not able to duplicate the trouble reported here.
When downloading CutePDF Writer with the CNET Download.com Installer, they were able to successfully opt-out of all offers. SweetPacks in particular does have a pretty "aggressive" offer screen, where you must click "Custom Setup (Advanced User)" and uncheck the boxes that then appear, but in our tests, doing so worked and SweetPacks was not actually installed, nor were any other offers.
I do understand that some of the offer presentations can be confusing, and I apologize for the inconvenience.
Your best bet when it comes to CNET Installer Enabled downloads, as previously mentioned, is to use the Direct Download Link (located under the main "Download Now" button):
In some cases, the software publisher may include third party offers in their own installer, but all such offers should also provide an opt-out or decline option.
CNET members can turn off the CNET Download.com Installer for the site. To do so, just login to the site, mouse over your username in the top right corner of the page and click the "My profile" link, then click the "Update my Download.com preferences" link (under the "My account settings" header). You should see a pop-up window where you can select the "Off" option for the CNET Download.com Installer; do so and click the "Save Changes" button. You do need to have pop-ups and cookies enabled for this to work and for the preference to stick.
For more information on the CNET Download.com Installer, please visit the following resource:
If you run into any further problems, please feel free to contact our support team directly by filling out the form on the following page:
CNET Customer Help
My thanks for following up....
For Bob and the rest of the team... my thanks for following up with my concern. I apologize for the cynicism used in the tone of my last note, but I knew there was a problem and I was concerned with it. C/NET has been a stable and trusted site for me over many years. From a user's standpoint, when I find a trusted site I need to do whatever I can to bring this to the attention of someone who could help. Bob, your persistence is noteworthy and I'm sure you get many that "cry wolf" so I can't really blame you for initially sending me to an informational link/thread. I will wait a few days for the smoke to clear, and then try to get CutePDF again. I'm not a "flamethrower" nor a newbie to technology as I'm a retired field engineer, software development mgr, DASD manager, senior programmer, and telecommunication network design engineer, all with the IBM Corporation since 1970. I appreciate the way you stayed with this one, and with this I can certainly say my faith is being restored. I only ask this question: "Even if an individual user can opt to turn off the CNET Download.com Installer, why is it even there in the first place if it allows extraneous or even malicious software to be bundled along with a wanted app?" Again, my best regards to the team.
I'm the originator of the other forum they directed you too. And I post my reply here for your review. I am one very unhappy user, and I feel your pain.....
"I understand all that you said.....now, after the fact. I realize I am not as computer savy as some folks here (I'm a flight nurse by trade, but use a laptop daily at the base, in the aircraft, etc). But in truth, I shouldn't have to click the "direct download" to void getting an unwanted adware/malware program from your site. There is obviously a problem with the CNET installer and it should be revamped or scrapped entirely. And in regards to "asking for help before I spend money", trust me I did. My entire web browser was corrupt, and I could not get on the internet to even attempt to download any malware/spyware cleaner. And my computer is still in the shop. They have tried multiple times to clean my system but keep coming up with new infections that are embedded in the system. They have told me that when a malware program embeds this deeply, that sometimes it leaves things "broken" (not a technical term I know). They are left with no other option than to save my files and wipe out my system, losing several of my embedded programs. And this is a brand new computer that I owned a total of 3 days before this happened. And yes, I do trust these folks fixing my system, they are the top rated computer repair company in my area and several of the technicians are friends. I've always trusted CNET, but no longer. Do I have some recourse against you for such malicious destructive behavior???"
So to really opt-out we have to use the Advanced install?
I'll try it again later but SweetPacks didn't show up till a hour later and then it apparently installed GetSavin.
Sadly this is the first time I've seen the installer do this and I'm shocked.
Not only Misleading.Disrespectful !!
I see where this thread dates back some two and a half months so Im not feelin real optimistic about this post achieving anything .......but here goes.......I too have the unwanted toolbar and other gliches, and after reading the preceding posts ......Dont know if C Net is, or is owned by, a "Publicly Traded" company......and I'm not likely to further waste my time investigating the possibility.....but if there are stockholders ...I'd recomend SELLING !!!...and fast !!!!!!!!!!
I no longer use C/Net for downloads. They can't be trusted.
1. I used to hold C/Net in the highest esteem and referred many people to their download.com site. Now, I so distrust C/Net due to malware bundling practices that they make money from that I'll never use them again. Once again, money is king for the corporation and the customer suffers. Now I download software only from the original developer's site.
2. The search.conduit malware is so pernicious that it 1. has no uninstall applet, 2. doesn't show up in Control Panel>Programs list and 3. the uninstall feature in browsers have been disabled.
I join the crowd -- I will no longer use C/Net for dowloads
I have just spent around two hours cleaning up after I downloaded a couple of font tools yesterday. Nothing was apparent after I installed CFont Pro and FontFrenzy. I declined all offers other than the product itself, yet I ended up with malware. When I booted this morning, there were all these prompts for updating and loading stuff I had never heard of, and I noticed the Bing search had now been added to my search engines slot.
I have now done my last CNET download. I cannot trust this service any longer. Only thing that would make me return is a guarantee by the CNET staff that they will not allow this sort of thing and that they guarantee, through some sort of testing, the available downloads are clean of this sort of cr@p!
IT_Guy_D is right, the worst part is that very often Conduit is installed by a third-party application with no uninstall applet. How users are supposed to uninstall it when it doesn't show up in Control Panel? So, you either remove it manually or use AdwCleaner and Junkware removal tool. For example, I got if after downloading ImgBurn. I think popular downloads shouldn't be bundled with toolbars, etc.
Note: This post was edited by a forum moderator to remove a link that had a misleading ad on the Website that may cause people to download a program that may cause more harm than good on 06/24/2013 at 1:14 PM PT
Hey... give C/NET a break
Why turn your back on a good download site when they will fix the problem if they are alerted to it? Look at the beginning of the thread and see how they did find and resolve my concern. Yes, it may take some persistence, but if you can shake them loose like I did with Mr. R. Proffitt, I saw resolution and now I see that CutePDF is not an available download anymore. This malware, like conduit, is sneaky stuff and it took them a while to determine that "sweetpacks" snuck in with my download. The only way we can keep this site clean is to report the problem and be persistent so they pay attention to it. This site is still my favorite for downloading thanks to R. Proffitt and the team when they realized I wasn't shouting "wolf". When you understand that the vast numbers of downloads are available to us here, it is no wonder to me that some garbage can be concealed into the software. Report it and stay with it and help keep this place clean.
Thanks for that.
Let me explain my very first reply. At the time before you shook me out of my tree the only issue I was seeing was with the home page settings and only then if I didn't OPT OUT.
-> CNET downloader changed (most if not all moderators agree for the worse) to make it nearly impossible to avoid Sweetpacks and more.
As the landscape is ever changing and you were insistent I took another look and put it through a test run. The results were there but it wasn't clear at first just how NASTY this Sweetpacks was. That is, I did opt out at every prompt and on top of that it didn't start to show up till later.
As it stands I can't use the CNET Downloader and doubt anyone should go near it for the time being.
CNET is no longer a safe download site
CNET used to be amazing. They somehow went afoul in their desire for bundling money, not caring about the end user. When I complained and said that I couldn't remove a pernicious malware, they did not contact me. My complaints did not "...help clean this place..." CNET still bundles. I used to love CNET's Download site and have recommended it to many, but no more. They can't be trusted with malware bundling (as evidenced by ongoing new complaints). (CNET also clutters the download page with very many ads that I believe are likely to cause people to download software that they didn't intend to download.) Respectfully, I am not convinced as you are, cozmo50, that they have cleaned up their act. Now, I recommend only using the developer's download system and to go through the download process slowly and uncheck all bundled software.
@ lucky7m Thank you. Here are my conduit:search removal results:
I ran JRT first and then AdwC second.
JRT (Junkware Removal Tool) in their notepad results showed conduit removed in 13 places on my computer. They did not suggest that I reboot or have any instructions at the end of they operation.
JRT did NOT remove conduit:search from either Internet Explorer (IE) or Chrome.
JRT Uninstallable. JRT is not in Control Panel>Programs nor is it in the Start button program list nor is it in the C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86) list so it cannot be deleted. This is not good at all.
(Any help in uninstalling JRT would be appreciated.)
AdwCleaner in their notepad results showed conduit removed in 6 places on my computer. At the end of their operation, they gave two categories of instructions. First they gave basic instructions about slowing down when loading and unclicking all bundled software, which I already knew, but was a good reminder and second, they said that I needed to close all programs and reboot, which I did.
AdwCleaner DID remove conduit:search from IE and Chrome.
To remove AdwCleaner, go to Downloads and Run AdwCleaner again and once it is open, it gives an uninstall option. Successful uninstall.
Conclusion: Thanks lucky7m. AdwCleaner worked.
I only installed AdwCleaner and it easily removed Sweetpacks Search.