is an Internet download directory website lancé in 1996 as a share of CNET . Originally, the domain was , is now a while, and is now . The domain attracted at least 113 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a study. [3]


The offer content is available in four major categories: software (including Windows, Mac and mobile), music , games , and videos , offered for download via FTPfrom’s servers or third-party servers. Videos are streams (at present) and music Was All free MP3 downloads, or occasionally rights-managed WMAs or streams It was up to REPLACED with .

The Software section includes over 100,000 freeware , shareware , and try-first downloads. Downloads are often rated and reviewed by the publisher. Registered users may also post reviews and rate the product. Software publishers are permitted to distribute their titles via CNET’s site for free, or for a fee structure that offers enhancements.

CNet uses Spigot Inc to monetize the traffic to According to Sean Murphy, a General Manager at CNet, “Spigot continues to be a great partner to, sharing our desire to balance customer experience with revenue.” [4]

Malware distribution

In August 2011, CNET TechTracker for delivering many of the software titles from its catalog. [5] This Was install accusé of Potentially Including trojans, and Was aussi Containing accusé of bloatware , Such As toolbars . [6] [7] [8] CNET admits in their download FAQ that “a small number of security publishers have flagged the installer as adware or a potentially unwanted application “. [9]

In December 2011, Gordon Lyon , writing under his pseudonym Fyodor published his strong dislike of the installation manager and concerns over the bundled software, causing many people to spread the post on social networks, and a few dozen media reports. The main problem is the confusion between content [10] [11] [ unreliable source? ] And software offered by original authors; The accusations included deception as well as copyright and trademark violation. [11]

In 2014, The Register and US-CERT warned that via’s ” foistware “, an “attacker may be able to download and execute arbitrary code”. [12] In 2015, research by EMSISOFT was released. [13]

A study done by How-To Geek in 2015 revealed that was packaging malware inside their installers. The test was done in a virtual machine where the testers downloaded the Top 10 apps. These all included crapware / malware; One example was the KMPlayer installer, which installed a rogue antivirus named ‘Pro PC Cleaner’ and attempted to execute WajamPage.exe. Some downloads, specifically YTD, were completely blocked by Avast. [14]

Another study done by How-To Geek in 2015 revealed that SSL certificates inside their installers, similar to the Lenovo Superfish certificate. These fake certificates can completely compromise SSL encryption and allow man-in-the-middle attacks. [15]

However, in July 2016, How-To Geek discovered that did not include adware / malware in its downloads and that its installer program had been discontinued. [16]

See also

  • Spigot Inc


  1. Jump up^ “ Site Info” . Alexa Internet . Retrieved 2014-04-01 .
  2. Jump up^ “ WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info – DomainTools” . WHOIS . Retrieved 2016-07-20 .
  3. Jump up^ attracts over 100m visitors yearly
  4. Jump up^ “Search Extensions” . Archived from the original on March 16, 2015 . Retrieved May 4, 2015 .
  5. Jump up^ “Download App – Free download and software reviews – CNET” . . Retrieved 2015-05-04 .
  6. Jump up^ “ wraps downloads in bloatware, lets about motivations” . ExtremeTech . Retrieved 2015-05-04 .
  7. Jump up^ Neal, Dave (December 6, 2011). “Cnet is accused of bundling malware with downloads” . The Inquirer . Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  8. Jump up^ Parrish, Kevin (December 7, 2011). “CNET Accused of Bundling Software with Trojans” . Tom’s Guide . Retrieved May 4, 2015 .
  9. Jump up^ best pc cleaner
  10. Jump up^ Brian Krebs (2011-12-06). “ Bundling Toolbars, Trojans?” . Krebs on security . Retrieved 2015-05-04 .
  11. ^ Jump up to:b Gordon Lyon (2012-06-27). “ Caught Adding Malware to Nmap & Other Software” . Retrieved 2015-05-04 . We suggest avoiding CNET entirely
  12. Jump up^ Darren Pauli (2014-07-08). “Insecure AVG search tool shoved down users’ throats, says US CERT” . The Register . Retrieved 2015-05-04 . Sneaky ‘foistware’ downloads
  13. Jump up^ “Mind the PUP: Top download portals to avoid” . EMSISOFT. March 11, 2015 . Retrieved May 4, 2015 .
  14. Jump up^ Lowell Heddings (2015-01-11). “Here’s What Happens When You Install The Top 10 Apps” . How-To Geek . Retrieved June 20, 2015 .
  15. Jump up^ Lowell Heddings (2015-02-23). “ and Others Bundle Superfish-Style HTTPS Breaking Adware” . How-To Geek . Retrieved January 6, 2016 .
  16. Jump up^ Chris Hoffman (2016-07-27). “ Has Finally Stopped Bundling Crapware” . How-To Geek . Retrieved August 8, 2016 .

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