Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CNET Adds Adware to Mac Downloads


Direct download links for a variety of popular Mac software products have been replaced on CNET's Download.com with installers for browser toolbars, commonly used by adware to track user browsing habits. A wide variety of Mac apps have had their download links replaced with the adware installer, including popular Mac antivirus software. At this time it is not clear if CNET had provided any prior notification to the creators of affected apps, but it appears that many of the companies were unaware that their download links had been switched to one that installed toolbars and changed web browser settings.

I miss the old VersionTracker. Fortunately, MacUpdate is still good.

Update (2013-11-06): Derek Currie:

VersionTracker used to be heaven for Mac users! It was one of the top 5 best Mac websites on the Internet! I have net friends who work there! I used to haunt the place every day! ...Then CNET bought them.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

Do people still use these download sites? I always download software from the developer's own web site.

@Doodpants The RSS feed and user reviews can be useful.

Yep, this is happening with all my products. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. CNET also doesn't give developers a way to remove products from their site, so I've contacted them directly. What a terrible practice.

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