Curious geeks from How-To Geek decided to test what happens when you install programs from the popular website Download.com. As it turned out, nothing good. Do not try to repeat this on your computer.
In total were installed top 10 freeware programs with the highest rate on the website. All of those programs were installed by professionals on virtual machine (it is always recommended to install suspicious programs on virtual machine).
Download.com has been chosen for the reason because it is a very popular web portal owned by CNET. Its rules strictly prohibit any distribution of malware via the website and along with programs it is “prohibited in any case to bundle adware, spyware or any other type of malware; no software is installed without the user’s knowledge; all of the programs provided on the website do not collect any information about the user; there is no modification of system settings on the user’s computer”, etc. Beforehand we must say that all of these statements are far from reality.
First of all the researches noticed that the rating of the most popular applications looks very strange and implausible.
However, the testing has begun. First of all they installed Avast antivirus, which was without any malware, but still had bundled Dropbox application. During the installation of the next program testers have noticed a new indicator “Installer Enabled”, but haven’t given any importance to this.
The first dirty trick was applied by KMPlayer program, which is after the main installer offered another windows with exactly the same appearance, but to install a third-party Potentially Unwanted Program (in the subtitle we can see the name Pro PC Cleaner, but it is easy to disregard it).
Developers use such techniques as gray background for the buttons from which they want to divert user’s attention.
In this case if you make a mistake with the choice, then four malicious programs will be installed on your computer and above mentioned Pro PC Cleaner will be making loud sounds through your speakers telling that your computer is full of random errors.
The situation with other programs is not better than KMPlayer. All they are trying to deceive the user in some way, to install malware on your computer. So, it is always recommended to test suspicious software on a virtual machine, or better, of course, download programs from their official websites. Stay safe.