Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Spamware installed by Download.com: What to do?

  1. #11


    Running AdCleaner (great software, thanks for the tip), Malwarebytes and CCleaner.
    I count on this resolving the problem.

    RevoCleaner was a lifesaver for this.
    The malware tricked the Windows Add/Remove software so it didn't see what had been installed. But Revo Cleaner knew it.

    Thanks all!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by topgundcp View Post
    I installed what you gave me above and no doubt they kept insisting to click accept to continue and I kept insisting to skip and finally I got the installer for it. Went ahead and installed it, everything works fine. I guess you need to be very careful and look closely on every step. My PC is working fine and here's the screen shot:

    Attachment 46794

    EDIT: If you have a system restore point created earlier then just restore it. This is one case that it is always good to have a backup image so you won't get into trouble like this.
    Interesting! Yes, I must have missed one then. But I am VERY conscious of this kind of stuff and I could have sworn I declined all offers. But maybe not...
    It's not the first time I get junk from Download.com so I was very much on my guard.
    Normally it's just the Ask toolbar or something less drastic. This time it was at least FIVE different search, weather, system scan junk apps.

    EDIT: If you have a system restore point created earlier then just restore it. This is one case that it is always good to have a backup image so you won't get into trouble like this.
    I don't actually know how to do that.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    As far as AdwCleaner - It is not very user friendly: It flagged ONE item in the list then forced a reboot. But when it showed the log, it turned out it deleted a ton of stuff. One of them were Babylon, a program I very much wanted. I'll re-install it, but just want to encourage anyone reading this to be careful with Adwcleaner. It's just very... brutal. It will fix the problem, but using a sledgehammer.

    My problem is definitely solved though.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Posts : 21
    windows 8.1


    I programm i can recommanded is UnChecky:
    Unchecky - Keeps your checkboxes clear

    Have you ever felt, while installing software, that the installer tries to push additional unwanted programs at all cost? Ever missed a checkbox, and spent hours afterwards removing adware? Ever opened your browser after an installation, only to find out that you have a new homepage, a new search engine, or even a new browser?
    Unchecky aims to keep potentially unwanted programs out of your computer.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Quote Originally Posted by martienne View Post
    One of them were Babylon, a program I very much wanted.
    I hope you don't mean Babylon Toolbar. It's listed as a browser hijacker.

    The Babylon Search toolbar is frequently categorized as a browser hijacker because it takes control of the Web browser and does things the user may not have specifically requested. For example, even if you set your "home" page, Babylon will display its own site. Or when you try to get to Google or Bing to perform a search, the browser will redirect to Babylon Search (search.babylon.com). A toolbar will also appear at the top of your browser window.

    It's technically not a virus, but it does exhibit plenty of malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities to hook deep into the operating system, browser hijacking, and in general just interfering with the user experience. The industry generally refers to it as a "PUP," or potentially unwanted program.
    Yes, AdwCleaner does come down hard, but in most cases of malware, that's what you need to do. AdwCleaner has multiple tabs that you can see what has been found in each area, services, files, folders, etc.

    Glad you got it sorted
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Posts : 454
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by martienne View Post
    Interesting! Yes, I must have missed one then. But I am VERY conscious of this kind of stuff and I could have sworn I declined all offers. But maybe not...
    It's not the first time I get junk from Download.com so I was very much on my guard.
    Normally it's just the Ask toolbar or something less drastic. This time it was at least FIVE different search, weather, system scan junk apps.
    You may find this article helpful:

    Safe software download sites: Beware of deceptive download links

    It talks specifically about how Cnet entices people to use their installer-enabled downloads, but they also usually provide an inconspicuous link to download the unwrapped software. That said, I generally download directly from the author's site after extensively looking it over, googling to see what people have to say about it, etc, and I rarely end up on sites like Cnet.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    Well Babylon is a translation program. I used it for many years alongside Abbyy Lingvo.
    I think it includes a bar, which I opt out of, but fundamentally for simply translating it's a decent piece of software.
    It's not free, so it can't be junk, and it certainly translates very well.

    Re my download habits; I'm not going to talk about it here, but I think I alluded to it above. Rest assured I normally get safe quality stuff. So this was an exception and I could never have dreamt that Download.com had sunk so low.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Posts : 279
    64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro


    Unchecky is a reliable application that aims to protect your computer against third-party components often offered during software installations. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

    Unchecky Free Download
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


    Quote Originally Posted by martienne View Post
    Well Babylon is a translation program.
    OK, I was just checking to be sure. If it includes a tool bar, that's a possible reason why AdwCleaner flagged it as problem.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


    Posts : 328
    Windows 8.1 (x64)


    I'm with Crafish here. It doesn't matter if it's CNET Download or any other software repository, it's always better to go to directly to the developer's official site and download from there. Not only is it safest, this way you also contribute by increasing the developer's site traffic and its revenue if any ads are placed on it.

    Here are some things I do to improve safety when downloading/installing some of these free software :

    1. Google the name of the software, and include "malware" in your search. Check the results to see if users have found this particular program to be bundled with anything suspicious.

    2. Go to the Developer's site. Most repositories include the official site adress. Check it with google, most of the time if you search for this software, the official site should show up in the top results.

    3. If unfortunately even the developer's own site redirects their downloads to a 3rd party site like Downloads.com, not all is lost. Click on the redirected link from the developer's site, and download the installer. Once downloaded, do not execute it immediately but right-click then choose properties > digital signatures > details. Most reliable software will have a signature, with the name of the publisher. If you see "This digital signature is OK" then it is proof this is a legitimate and unaltered installer (More info : Digital Signatures )

    4. If a zip/rar manual installer is available, prefer it to an auto-installer (.exe) which is more susceptible to have junk included.

    5. Copy/Paste the download URL and use it in https://www.virustotal.com/. The URL checker might allow you to scan the file before even downlading it.

    6. Once downloaded, check the MD5/SHA-1 Hash of this file. Many free programs exist to do that. Once you have the hash, compare it to the one on the developer's site if it's available (many do it automatically now). If it's not, google the hash number, and check the results pages. You can also check this hash directly on https://www.virustotal.com/ (Search Tab)

    7. Backup your system before installation. At the minimum make a restore point. The safest is to create an image, many solutions including free ones exist : List of disk cloning software - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    8. If the file is in the form of an auto-installer (exe), try to open it with an archiver instead of executing it directly. This might be overkill but if the exe is infected with something which starts at execution, passing by the archiver should minimize the risks.


    Keep in mind while Download.com might include junk in the installer, it can also be the developer's own fault. Most freeware developers need a way to get money afterall. To prevent this, always try and find if an open-source alternative already exists first.
    Last edited by oneeyed; 06 Aug 2014 at 04:01.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Spamware installed by Download.com: What to do?
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