I used to consider c/NET a safe site for downloading software. There are lots of great free programs that do handy things. The authors are legitimate, well meaning, real people. But, more and more often their software is wrapped in an installer from some download site. That wrapper often contains Adware or Malware.Authors of free programs are donating their labor to you. Lots of downloads of a popular program/app can drive up bandwidth costs. Authors of popular programs can soon find they are paying real money out of their pocket so you can have free stuff. Isn’t it enough they donated their time?
The alternative is to use a mirror, a web site that will allow you to store your files for others to download. Some have developed mirror sites into businesses. Some learned it is more profitable to add to the advertising revenue by putting ads and adware in an install or download program that wraps the file you want.
Now cyberwarzone is reporting that blackhats are getting their malware into c/NET, a major download site. See: Top 10 downloaded software on CNET contains malware. Skipping the bad English, that the top 10 downloads all have malware is frustrating and I hope c/NET finds it embarrassing.