Download.com infected this computer with 1,247 pieces of crapware [Image]

Here039s what greets me at startup

Ahh IE8

Whoa

All PUPs

Adwcleaner

Junkware Removal Tool

part 1

part 2

Here is the story behind this:

I work at a Helpdesk, so I did a presentation on how to removal malware for our inback computers.

I used a spare hard drive, threw on Windows 7, turned off my firewall, and went to town. Everything I installed was from www.download.com. So sad they’ve gotten this bad.

The tools I used to remove most of them was Malwarebytes, Adwcleaner, and Junkware Removal Tool. After a restart, all popups were gone, and I just needed to uninstall some remaining crap programs.

And be aware that Malwarebytes’ latest definitions are including a lot more “optimization” crapware, so that’s why my count was so high. As said, it was all .PUPs, so nothing too bad.

To be fair to Download.com, as stated above, all 1,247 are PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Program — like toolbars, bloatware, crapware, etc.) and not hardcore malware. However, this is still something Download.com should not be promoting.

[via claptoman]

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16 comments

  1. DoktorThomas™

    Early on download.com was a “must go to” site; ever since CBS turned it into CNET-crap-distribution.com, I NEVER use it. No software is important enough or valuable enough to use CNET.com to get it. Cnet is so polluted with junk and crap that it should classified as federal brownfield site.
    Beware of lame-stream US media giants. ©2013

  2. Godel

    If you really want to download anything from CNet or Download.com (probably), do it with Opera browser. I keep a copy just for that purpose.

    Most of the crapware consists of toolbars etc. for the popular browsers such as IE or Firefox. When presented with poor little orphan Opera, the site throws up its hands and sends you the clean file, with no installer or crapware.

    Try it. :-)

  3. MerryMarjie

    I was really disappointed in Download.com when I found they wanted to put junk on my computer. As others noted, it USED to be the “safe” site when you needed software, one you could trust, but this shows you can’t trust anyone online (well, present company excepted, of course!). I’m glad to read the suggestions others noted for safe downloading, and I hope CNet gets a wake-up call over this.

  4. Ed

    This is what happens when you use their online installers and do not pay attention when installing.

    People, ALWAYS look for the direct download link in lieu of the online installer(s).

    CNet does the same exact thing.

  5. etim

    As I tell friends–never pick the “easy or quick” options when installing software–
    pick “custom or advanced”. And pay attention.
    Otherwise don’t bitch about all the junk and clutter on your rigs.

  6. Darcy

    I stopped using CNET a long time ago. When they started with their nonsense actually. Before that it was a decent site. My go-to site of preference is Softpedia. Anyone have some other good ones to share?

  7. Seamus McSeamus

    I remember when download.com was my go to site, back before CNET got involved. They really have fallen into a disreputable state over the past couple years, since adding their own wrapper to so many downloads. The only purpose of the wrapper is to infest your computer with Crapware Landmines (aside from making CNET some bucks, anyway), so either steer clear of the site or be prepared for a minefield.