Computer Safety: Malware @ c|NET

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.

Say Something. Something Like You Love Me.

Say Something. Something Like You Love Me. by [ HarlowHeslop.com ], on Flickr

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.

4 thoughts on “Computer Safety: Malware @ c|NET

  1. A recent uTorrent version came with a bitcoin miner. Of course people freaked out over this, but on second thought I actually found the idea to be very interesting. I can have a free and good software and the developer can make some money with it without violating my privacy, stealing my data or spamming me with annoying ads. Instead of paying, I donate cpu power.

      • Yes, that is why I would never use closed source software including Windows. Microsoft is probably mining bitcoins with it for years, hehe. It would need to be implemented in a very controlled and transparent way. For example when I download a software via torrent, I can set the amount of bandwidth with which I want to upload. Something similar would need to be implemented with bitcoin or every software would request 100% of CPU power.
        Eventhough I am a huge open source fan, people need to earn money. This would be an interesting solution.

        • I doubt Microsoft is that abusive. But, that is a matter of faith, not knowledge. I can understand your thinking.

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