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Old 04-02-2014, 03:41 PM
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Please Stop Using These Websites for Downloads

Please Stop Using These Websites for Downloads

CNET., Download.com, Softonic, Soft32, Tucows, SourceForge, Softomate*, Brothersoft*, Filewon.com*


In the last 6 week period, from mid-February to March 31, 2014, there have been 20 threads begun in the Virus and Malware Help Forum. 2 of those were not infection related but one question asking about a specific av program and the other one was a question for removing a legitimate program. The other 18 all were posted by users with infected computers. While 3 of them chose not to do the cleanup steps (one stating he would "live with it") & the other 2 just not returning), the other 15 did follow instructions and completely cleaned up their computers. On every single one of those 18 threads, including the 3 who chose not to clean, the computers in question contained PUP Malware, Potentially Unwanted Programs.

Why did ALL of these 18 computers end up with these PUP's? For ONE REASON and ONE REASON ONLY, each and every user got their Free program downloads using one or more of the 9 Unsafe download web sites listed above. No Other Reason, that is the ONLY way these PUP's can enter a computer.

Despite the fact that every user asks WHY and despite the fact that we continue to stress not to use these sites, listing them each and every time, people continue to do so, some multiple times after their first cleanup when they were told WHY, and also despite the fact that Kassie posted a sticky giving a warning about using CNET for downloads two years ago,

http://forum.worldstart.com/showthread.php?t=157919

yet people still continue to use CNET and all the others listed above.

Each & every one of those 9 sites force users to take a 3rd party bundler installer in order to receive the program the user wants.

Several of the sites also include an "special downloader" to allegedly speed up the downloads. There is no such thing. Download speeds depend on the users internet provider and if it is a slow provider then nothing you install on the computer itself can make it go faster than the speed provided by the Internet Provider.

Do a search for a download "speeder upper" program and the first links given are for one or more of those 9 web sites listed above. Most of the other links, not related to one of those, are for articles on how to speed the computer in general, no downloads for programs to speed downloads.

So those 9 sites force the users to take 2 extras that absolutely are NOT NEEDED and have nothing to do with the programs they wanted. An extra or special installer is NEVER needed, legitimate programs use either their OWN installer that comes WITH the program or use the built in Windows Installer.

Both of these "download helpers" and "special installers" are bundle ware containers. The web sites above are PAID to use them so that the PUP's contained in them will be installed on the users computers, without the users knowledge, for advertising purposes and tracking purposes so users can be directed to the web sites the PUP programs want them to visit and also can bring in additional PUP's or something much worse when visiting sites they are directed to but did not choose.

The first six web sites receive GREEN WOT ratings because the web sites themselves are safe to READ, but NOT safe for downloads.

Softomate and Brothersoft both have Orange/Yellow Unsatisfactory WOT ratings, meaning the web sites themselves should not be visited at all.
Filewon.com is little known and therefore has no WOT rating yet but it uses a VERY DANGEROUS 3rd party installer containing dangerous PUP's.

These 9 sites likely are not the only sites that use these, they are just the ones well known. Go to the developer web site 1st for downloads, then check either majorgeeks or filehippo for whatever it is that you want, if neither of those two safe sites offer it then you just don't need or want it.

For your own safety and the safety of your computer and everything on it Please Stop Using Those Websites for Downloads.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:36 AM
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Thanks for the great Info!

Especially the part where it's WOT ok but not actually safe downloads. I could easily be fooled that way.

Now, thanks to you I'm on the lookout!
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:51 PM
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Thanks Judy for a very informative thread.
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Old 04-03-2014, 08:55 PM
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You are both very welcome tidyup and wantalearn. Very happy to provide the info.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:57 PM
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I just read this post. Good info as to which sites to not use to download but you don't mention a safe site. I usually see if Major Geeks has what I want and it is straightforward with no problem. Are there any more safe sites you can share us with?
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Light Foot View Post
I just read this post. Good info as to which sites to not use to download but you don't mention a safe site. I usually see if Major Geeks has what I want and it is straightforward with no problem. Are there any more safe sites you can share us with?
You missed them as the safe sites are noted in my post in the next to last sentence;
Quote:
Go to the developer web site 1st for downloads, then check either majorgeeks or filehippo for whatever it is that you want, if neither of those two safe sites offer it then you just don't need or want it.
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:44 PM
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Thank you. You are the best.
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:45 PM
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You're welcome, always happy to help!
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:27 PM
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This is extremely helpful. Answers somethings I've been wondering about.
W/t/g, Judy. J
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:35 PM
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You're welcome Joel. A couple we knew before, CNET and Download.com but the number of unsafe download sites seems to continue to grow. Sad really.
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Old 06-15-2014, 12:59 PM
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thanks, often when I do a search for the program it doesn't go directly to that site but to one of the ones you listed NOT to use.
Very informative. good alert.
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Old 06-15-2014, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delig8dor View Post
thanks, often when I do a search for the program it doesn't go directly to that site but to one of the ones you listed NOT to use.
Very informative. good alert.
What search engine are you using? You shouldn't be taken directly to "any site" but to a search results Page that lists all the pages that offer whatever it is that you are wanting to download. There you Choose which page to go to, and quite often it is NOT the top result, especially if you do not have AdBlock installed, because the top results on a search result page are very often ads.

If you are going Directly to a site when doing a search it sounds to me like you are using "Search and Go" instead of much safer, Search. Just using the Search option rather than Search and Go will give you a List so you can actually choose which site to visit. Search and go does not give you this option but takes you directly to virtually any site that may offer the program you are trying to find or most likely, the web site the search engine has been PAID to give you.
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Old 06-15-2014, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delig8dor View Post
thanks, often when I do a search for the program it doesn't go directly to that site but to one of the ones you listed NOT to use.
Very informative. good alert.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jholland1964 View Post
What search engine are you using? You shouldn't be taken directly to "any site" but to a search results Page that lists all the pages that offer whatever it is that you are wanting to download. There you Choose which page to go to, and quite often it is NOT the top result, especially if you do not have AdBlock installed, because the top results on a search result page are very often ads.

If you are going Directly to a site when doing a search it sounds to me like you are using "Search and Go" instead of much safer, Search. Just using the Search option rather than Search and Go will give you a List so you can actually choose which site to visit. Search and go does not give you this option but takes you directly to virtually any site that may offer the program you are trying to find or most likely, the web site the search engine has been PAID to give you.
Perhaps the point here is that there are a few author sites where their own download button takes you to CNet or another shonky site. For instance, IrfanView's first download button goes to CNet. You have to scroll down the full page and click on "Other Download Sites" to find MajorGeeks and FileHippo. He doesn't offer a home site download at all.
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Old 06-15-2014, 05:51 PM
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Judy, A friend states he opened Malwarebytes and it advised him to update. He states: "Its a shame u try to upgrade from a site that supposedly protects computers, and u get a virus there. I'm thinking this would not happen with Apple." and also, "So I bring up the M program, it tells me I need to update, I say 'ok', it takes me to a site, I click 'download', and BOOM! I learned my lesson."

I can't convince him that Malwarebytes' official site would not give him a virus or malware.; suggested he was sent to another site by malware, downloaded from some other site. When he ran Malwarebytes, he got 150 hits so seems to me he was already infected before he tried to update.

His malware (my opinion) had to do with a pop up window advising he needed to download something about 'Certificate'. Malwarebytes did not delete the problem. Suggested he contact you at this web site to get rid of it.
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Old 06-15-2014, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearcat31 View Post
Judy, A friend states he opened Malwarebytes and it advised him to update. He states: "Its a shame u try to upgrade from a site that supposedly protects computers, and u get a virus there. I'm thinking this would not happen with Apple." and also, "So I bring up the M program, it tells me I need to update, I say 'ok', it takes me to a site, I click 'download', and BOOM! I learned my lesson."

I can't convince him that Malwarebytes' official site would not give him a virus or malware.; suggested he was sent to another site by malware, downloaded from some other site. When he ran Malwarebytes, he got 150 hits so seems to me he was already infected before he tried to update.

His malware (my opinion) had to do with a pop up window advising he needed to download something about 'Certificate'. Malwarebytes did not delete the problem. Suggested he contact you at this web site to get rid of it.
I guarantee you and your friend he would NOT have gotten an infection from the Malwarebytes' web site.

If your friend was using Malwarebytes' and he received the message to Update, you are NEVER sent to any web site, the update is downloaded BY the Program and installed. If he was already running Malwarebytes's version 2 then the UPGRADE would also have been done directly through the program. If he was running the OLD version, 1.75, his program was at least 4 months out of date, meaning he rarely uses it because he would have received that notification a long time ago, a VERY good reason for infections because it shows he rarely uses the program or possibly updates his computer.

Yes, he would have had to go directly to the Malwarebytes's web site to get the upgrade but there is absolutely Nothing there telling users to download some sort of certificate all you get is the program, period.

If he had 150 files found with his Malwarebytes' scan then it is highly probable, as you feel, he already was infected and possibly his computer had been hijacked and he was then redirected to what would be a fake Malwarebytes' web site, not the real one.
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Old 06-15-2014, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearcat31 View Post
I'm thinking this would not happen with Apple."
.
Mac computers certainly are not immune from infections. Virtually every anti-virus programs now offer Mac Versions, including Avira and Avast, the two we recommend here most often.
Here is a link of reviews of 10 others for his reading.
http://mac-antivirus-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

You might also have him read these three links if he thinks that an Apple computer is immune from infections, some of them very serious and Apple is not as quick to patch their discovered security holes either, of course it is still up to the user to actually apply the updates, otherwise it will still be at risk.

http://krebsonsecurity.com/2011/11/a...r-trojan-hole/

http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/02/i...erous-ssl-bug/

http://krebsonsecurity.com/2011/05/a...s-mac-malware/
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:49 AM
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Thank you very much, Judy. With your permission, I am passing on your comments to him and suggesting, again, that if he still has the 'Certificate' popup problem either he or I should contact you for help in removing it.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearcat31 View Post
Thank you very much, Judy. With your permission, I am passing on your comments to him and suggesting, again, that if he still has the 'Certificate' popup problem either he or I should contact you for help in removing it.
That is fine, he should join here and he can certainly receive assistance, if he wants it. If he doesn't want to do that then suggest that he take the computer to a reliable shop and pay have them clean it up. He most definitely would not have gotten infections from the Malwarebytes' web site.
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:54 PM
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I have no personal experience, but I have been assured in another forum that Softpedia is right up there with MajorGeeks in the trustworthy stakes. Does anyone know otherwise?
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_D View Post
I have no personal experience, but I have been assured in another forum that Softpedia is right up there with MajorGeeks in the trustworthy stakes. Does anyone know otherwise?
I've never heard anything bad about it.
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