Got a Mac? Beware of 'CNET Installer' Adware

  • 30 October 2013
  • 3 replies
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Userlevel 7
Mac users-You are likely familiar with CNET's download.com, a place where many Mac users go to download popular Mac apps. What you may not know, however, is that many of the links to these apps have been replaced with 'CNET Installer', which installs a toolbar containing adware and that changes your browser settings. It looks like this:
 



 
(Source: SecureMac)

 
SecureMac posted the story, which explains how to avoid downloading this toolbar installer, how to determine if you accidentally installed it, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to remove it from your system on Safari, Chrome, and Firefox.

 
Here is what you will see in Safari if you have the toolbar installed:

 



 



 
(Source: SecureMac)

 
As we've said before, adware is annoying at best and malicious at worst and, as in this case with the 'CNET Installer', it's easy to unintentionally install thinking that it's just the link for the app you're actually looking to download. For this reason, I can't stress enough how important it is for Mac users to make sure their computers are protected with great internet security, so as to avoid potential breaches and malware on their Macs. 

3 replies

Userlevel 7
@ wrote:
With macs becoming more prevelant, we're going to see more and more stuff like this targeting them and contrary to popular myth osx is not intrinsically safer than a patcehd windows os.
How very right you are.  Malware goes where the money is, and in the past when Mac OS computers were a much smaller % of total computer owndership than today, there simply was not much fun or money in coding malware for it.  As Mac's become more and more popular, it is becoming both more distruptive and more profitable for the malware authors to target it, and target it they will.
 
 
Userlevel 5
With macs becoming more prevelant, we're going to see more and more stuff like this targeting them and contrary to popular myth osx is not intrinsically safer than a patcehd windows os.
Userlevel 7
Badge +13
I will NEVER ever download a prog from CNET ever again for this reason,as well as Cnet does a garbage job,if it all,policing the downloads.Back in my pre-WSA days KIS blocked several threats..trojans,adware and such which were linked to downloads from there.They were not false positives.There are definitely far better,more reputable sites to download your apps from,be it windows or mac.The best place to download your apps will always be the developers sites.It's kind of a shameful way for Cnet to do business,but then again,it's Cnet,and with Cnet nothing surprises me.

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