Cnet Download.com Installer

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by x942, Aug 2, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. x942

    x942 Guest

    I noticed today that almost every download through Cnet is now done via "secure installer". The issue? Cnet forces a toolbar on you. I have found no way to install without allowing the toolbar to install with it (not happening). One of the other things it does (if you cancel) it places a shortcut to the installer (in Temp) on your desktop.

    I found it strange so I did a scan with Hitman Pro, PrevX SOL, and MBAM. Hitman Pro and PrevX detected it as Malware (both via heuristics). Now I don't believe it is malware (toolbars are often considered malware/spyware by AV's) but none-the-less I will NEVER be using download.com again.


    I can't believe Cnet wouldn't properly vet the company they are working with let alone force users to install a toolbar. The worst part is the program I am after is ONLY on download.com (their site links to it). I have sent an e-mail to them explaining the issue and that I won't be buying it unless another download is made available.

    Anyone else have a similar issue? What is Cnet's E-mail I can't find it anywhere?
     
  2. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Posts:
    6,429
    Toolbar powered by who?

    Anyhow, not good.:thumbd:
    I will use MG from now on instead if the software is available there, or from dev/official websites of course.
    And thanks for the heads up because it's a long time since I actually downloaded anything from download.com!
     
  3. x942

    x942 Guest

    Can't remember now. I think it was 'bit' something. I had never heard of it before. :thumbd:
     
  4. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Posts:
    6,429
  5. MikeBCda

    MikeBCda Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Posts:
    1,627
    Location:
    southern Ont. Canada
    I don't remember ever having any security problems with Download.com, but I avoid them as much as possible anyway. They used to have a bad rep in offering as "current" badly outdated versions of a number of products, and I don't know if that's improved since I was last there, ages ago.
     
  6. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    Posts:
    9,006
    i downloaded superantispyware 5 from cnet download.com and wasnt offered any toolbar.
     
  7. x942

    x942 Guest

    Did it give you the SAS installer or the "Cnet secure download" exe? The latter is what causes the problem. Not all downloads have been converted so far.
     
  8. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Posts:
    1,317
    Location:
    AmstelodamUM
    I just downloaded the top 5; AVG Free, YouTube DLoader, FreezonlineTV, WRAR and MBAM and also some Mac prog Pixelmator.
    With Noscript only allowed 'cnet.com', no special/secure exes to be seen.
     
  9. CNET Downloads

    CNET Downloads Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Posts:
    2
    Hi,

    My name is Catherine Hwang on the CNET Download.com team and wanted to get in touch with you all to address this issue regarding the CNET Download.com Installer.

    The all-new CNET Download.com Installer is indeed a new feature we rolled out in the recent weeks, but it does not force a toolbar on any users. Instead, the users will encounter a single offer for an additional 3rd-party software during the download process, which is clearly disclosed and provides the option to accept or decline the offer before proceeding with the download. In addition, we only show offers for software that is approved for listing on CNET Download.com.

    For more information, please visit our FAQ on Upload.com - http://cnet.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2065 and please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. We welcome your feedback to make this a better experience for users and developers alike.

    Thanks,
    Catherine
    Senior Partner Manager
    CNET Download.com
     
  10. Baserk

    Baserk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Posts:
    1,317
    Location:
    AmstelodamUM
    Hi Catherine,

    The FAQ you referred to, mentions;
    "In addition to the speed and security the CNET Installer provides, we will also present offers for software that we think may be of interest to our users at the same time that we deliver your download."

    However, you just wrote;'...the users will encounter a single offer for an additional 3rd-party software'.
    Will only one alternative be offered or will multiple alternatives be presented?

    Also, will this feature and thus gathered info also be used with regard to social networks?
    The 'Cnet Download.com/CBS Interactive Privacy Policy' mentions (link);
    'The following are examples of information we may collect from other sources:
    • If you access third-party services (such as Facebook or Twitter) through a CBS Interactive Web Site, your username and password for those services and other information available about you on those services, as described in our overview of third-party social networking services;
    • Your interests and purchase behavior...
    '

    Will CNet Download.com use gathered Installer information, and collected Facebook and Twitter usernames and passwords, like through a 'FB Like' button, be used for further user profiling and/or user data accumulation, perhaps in cooperation with social networks?
     
  11. x942

    x942 Guest

    Download window blinds and you will see what I mean :p I can't remember what I was downloading but window blinds does it too.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I am glad to hear this is unintentional however when I uncheck the box to install the offered toolbar the install does not continue. It just sits there doing nothing. Can you have this checked? It may be a bug. Also the toolbar is detected as malware can you have this double checked as well? It may very well be a false positive.

    I have no issue if these 'bugs' are worked out but I am skeptical and wish it would just stay the same as before. :cautious:
     
  12. cm1971

    cm1971 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Posts:
    727
    Is this going to be required to download from Cnet or is it going to be optional?
     
  13. Fad

    Fad Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Posts:
    378
    Location:
    England
    I noticed this behavour recently when I tried to download something from Cnet - in my particular case I instinctively blocked the "installer" and looked elsewhere.
     
  14. CNET Downloads

    CNET Downloads Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Posts:
    2
    @cm1971 Yes, you have the option to download directly without the CNET Download.com Installer. If you take a look at the product page with a Download Now button, you'll see that the direct download link without the CNET Download.com Installer is available. Hope this answers your question!

    @x942 Thanks for the feedback - really do appreciate that. Just so I can have our engineers take a look, can you provide me with a product name you were trying to download? That does look like a bug, so anything you can provide would be helpful. Thanks!

    @Baserk Apologies for the confusion. Yes, the user only gets one offer during the install process from approved 3rd party partners, not just one partner. Sorry about that. In addition, I definitely understand your concern in regards to the privacy concerns you brought up, so I've reached out internally to make sure I get you the right response. Thanks again for the feedback.

    Best,
    Catherine @CNET Download.com
     
  15. InTheKnow

    InTheKnow Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Posts:
    1
    There is an extremely tiny "Direct download" link under the forced installer..

    Except, you are forced to register or login to their site, so they can collect information about you. I would assume in attempt to benefit financially in respect to advertisements..

    Looks like cnet is trying to simultaneously
    1) Take advantage of less-informed users
    2) Run off technically advanced users who don't easily fall for marketing tricks
     
  16. cm1971

    cm1971 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    Posts:
    727
    Yes it does...thanks! :thumb:
     
  17. MokkNoir

    MokkNoir Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Posts:
    1
    Nice! I know I just love a company that is so blinded by its pursuit of profits that they don't give a damn about defecating all over their customer base. I will NEVER have anything to do with a company that either thinks I am so stupid that I would fall for deceitful ruses to get unwanted software installed on my computer, or they think the sun shines out of their ~ Snipped as per TOS ~ and I should feel privileged to have unwanted software installed.

    Either way, thousands are already being warned to NEVER return to their website due to unethical business practices and threats of invasive and potentially very threatening software being installed.

    Thanks download.com.... ~ Snipped as per TOS ~
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2011
  18. siberianwolf

    siberianwolf Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Posts:
    516
    i always download sw's directly from the vendors' site. and if it's not available thru their own sites or servers, only in that case i download from sw dl sites or just give up.
     
  19. Technical

    Technical Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Posts:
    471
    Location:
    Brazil
    -1 for CNET also. I'm looking for alternative download sites. There are many.
    It's a pity that, sometimes, from the vendor site you're redirected to CNET :(
     
  20. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Posts:
    8,516
    I just hate these stupid downloaders. Direct downloads are the best, and wastes less time/bandwidth/resources/security.
     
  21. x942

    x942 Guest

    Much agreed. I also see that the issue has yet to be fixed as the downloader is still flagged as malware.
     
  22. TarlCabot

    TarlCabot Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Posts:
    1
    Shall we call a spade a spade? This downloader is to get CNET into the bundleware game. It's to increase their revenue. It doesn't have anything to do with security or helping out the end user. The response to it, from what I've seen searching the web is universally negative. Hopefully the foistware money is good enough to make up for the users that are going to abandon download.com.

    I've downloaded from them since the 90's, but I'm done. Until and unless they chuck this bad idea, or allow you to download directly without trading personal information for the privilege, I'll be downloading elsewhere. If I were an author with a program exclusively available on download.com, I'd be looking to make it available somewhere else, and fast.. just sayin'.
     
  23. PaulBB

    PaulBB Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2006
    Posts:
    708
    The CNET Download.com Installer

    read full story here:
    http://www.ghacks.net/2011/08/17/the-cnet-download-com-installer/
     
  24. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Posts:
    20,958
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    Merged Threads to Continue Same Topic!
     
  25. lunarlander

    lunarlander Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    Posts:
    121
    downloader programs are evil. bundling another app is even more so.
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.