File-It-Under: Tech advocacy By: D.Skin
As always when downloading free software I resort to using CNET downloads,now the problem I have with using CNET's downloads is the site tries very hard to force you to download unnecessary software bundles,aka bloatware. For an example,Ask.com,web browsers I never heard of,the endless amount of tool bar apps, to which you do have an option to download but you have to be very careful to read what you're downloading first before you make the initial download. So you might be reading this passage so far asking yourself this question:What exactly is the big fuss? Here's where it gets dicey.
Upon downloading a free LogoMaker app from CNET downloads,I notice my entire web browser was hijacked under the name Connect Web. But the bigger and nasty problem was when I went to uninstall "Connect Web" cheesy web browser,something told me to run a virus scan, and so scanned my entire system,to my surprise Avast which is my default virus app found no threats. So I took to Malwarebytes and upon further scanning and review,it found a nasty little adware dubbed the PUP.Optional.Spigot.A. Its basically an unwanted application or program that contains adware and installs in your toolbar,remember that "Connect Web" Browser hijack? The adware program basically has no clear objectives other than to just sit there and track your surfing habits or worst.
Though the PUP.Optiona.Spigoy.A is not a virus per say, it still can exhibit plenty of Malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities that can hook deeply into your computers operating system. The PUP.Optional.Spigot.A infection enters your computer after installing freeware software (recording/streaming, download managers), it then bundles into your as a browser hijack. This unwanted adware bug is bundled with custom installers such as CNET of course,Brothersoft and my personal favorite,well used to me my personal favorite Softonic.
I'm pleading to readers to stay clear away of CNET Downloads because if you download any apps from what I thought was a legit,honest,and reliable download website,you are liable to retrieve software that is attached with some pretty nasty little Rootkit like bugs that can do some damage to your computer's file system. Rootkit bugs lay hidden in your file system,I call it the" Ninja virus". In the coming weeks I will make it my mission to contact CNET and let them know that they are to carefully monitor its website for potential threats,in particularly the Download section of the site. Stay tune readers.