How do I know that the software I purchase is free of malware?

Discussion in 'malware problems & news' started by connect4, Apr 10, 2009.

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  1. connect4

    connect4 Registered Member

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    For example:

    I usually only download / purchase software from Softpedia.com, Download.com, Snapfiles.com

    Because they supposedly guarantee they test all software and guarantee it 100% clean.


    There is this program that I want to purchase: It is called CounterOffer
    http://www.merlinsoftware.com/index.htm


    I found their other programs on softpedia/download.com but I don't see CounterOffer on those sites.


    I want to purchase that program, although I want to make sure that it is malware free. How do I find this out?

    I already emailed the company and asked them: I mean, they are legally required to disclose the truth correct?
     
  2. lordpake

    lordpake Registered Member

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    Laws don't necessarily mean anything in the 'Net. How do you know the company is actually in the same country as you are in and thus under the same laws, or even in the country they state they are in?


    That being said :) you can always use services such SiteAdvisor and WOT to check the reputations of the sites you are interested in. This might provide additional food for thought when deciding if to trust a vendor.
     
  3. N2thuWild

    N2thuWild Registered Member

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    Hi, I downloaded a game from download.com, which I have always trusted and WOT gives a good rating and PrevxEdge found a trojan worm. In my opinion, you can never be 100% sure no matter where you download from. The various site advisers are a pretty good indication usually though of where not to go.
     
  4. lordpake

    lordpake Registered Member

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    Security software is another can of worms :) I've personally advanced as a user to a level where I no longer blindly trust them. Too many false positives, be they heuristic or behavioural detections, no matter what software is in question. This would almost require verification by submitting the file to the specific vendor for checking, considering the source is trusted website.
     
  5. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Aside from looking at ratings on WOT, SiteAdvisor and the like, you can download the file while having real-time antivirus/antimalware software running.

    Then scan with the AV, and maybe MBAM and SAS (free), possibly with another security appplication.

    You can also google the application and the vendor, to see if you read anything bad about them.
     
  6. connect4

    connect4 Registered Member

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    Thank you for your reponses.

    Here is the reply email that they have sent to me after I asked them if their software contained any spyware/adware:

    "CounterOffer is the newest application, it just hasn’t been submitted to download sites (it is a pretty niche application), but it’s no different than the other applications – no adware, spyware, or malware. It does appear some sites have picked it up on their own, like:

    http://www.brothersoft.com/counteroffer-download-141633.html"

    I mean, the company is called "PC TechZone" and they have been in business since 1998? And I haven't seen anything bad on google about them.

    Most of their other software is clean according to softpedia/snapfiles etc.

    I also checked out McAfee Site advisor on google search and their webpage was green = safe.


    Is it now safe to say that the verdict = counteroffer software is pretty much clean?


    Thanks guys


    PS Last check, I'm going to upload to one of those malware checking sites....
     
  7. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    If you use Jotti or Virustotal for scanning, this will give you a pretty good idea. Bear in mind however that both sites have max. file upload sizes, so depending on how large your program file is, they may not work.
    More importantly, neither site will give you any guarantee.
     
  8. Steven Avery

    Steven Avery Registered Member

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    Hi Folks,

    Although you would like to see a support forum and more, my searching seems to indicate that Merlin Software, their Auction Magic and their US addy all look solid.

    I have litte trust for Softpedia (especially) and Download.com, although they are good for secondary references and the user comments in Download are often excellent. Snapfiles and Fileforum and Major Geeks are the shareware sites whom I give some weight and trust, feeling that the administrators are attuned to all sorts of ethical and malware considerations in a preemptive fashion. (Not that some errors might still slip through.) CNet/Download is not bad, I simply don't think they have a real vetting and consideration process that you can count on, even if the files pass some specific tests. The administration is cumbersome. It is true that their size allows them to handle more than the other sites I would give an A aor A+ .. so the lunch is not free. Sometimes CNet/Download will be the best available.

    You want a little more feedback ? To raise the comfort level. Maybe call the PC TechZone fella in the US.

    http://www.manta.com/coms2/dnbcompany_h8svww
    Pc Techzone

    Personally, I would consider the niche aspect, the company with multiple products and a sensible history, the lack of negative reports, the fact that Australia is not a major malware center afaik and my normal malware defenses to be more than sufficient for a download.

    However a phone call from a solid prospective buyer should be welcomed on any account.

    Shalom,
    Steven Avery
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  9. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    I downloaded the file from post #1 and uploaded it to VirusTotal and it shows clean. I also scanned the file while it was in Sandboxie with MBAM, SAS and Avira and they didn't alert to anything. That's not a guarantee the file is clean but it's the best I can do.
     
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