I... kinda thought this was old news? I remember hearing about this a year ago or so.
The fact that cnet.download.com modify the installers to include adware is not a new, but we are no more talking of barely legal even if disturbing adware and spyware
It was a impressive escalation, now they get to the point to include Babylon , and much worse Claro that are really nasty and dangerous internet browser hjacker.
I downloaded tons programs from everywhere without never get a virus,but on cnet.download. com , even if i know the risk and i was careful just a second of distration was sufficent to get infected and in the most dangerous way :
luckily i use also linux so when i had the doubt that not only the Claro search itself was a phishing attempt that but also all the other search engine installed (google, yahoo, bing...)
were modified to redirect on phishing sites i could check it
And yes the result for "remove Claro toolbar", done with google and yahoo in Windows (infected by the claro virus included in a cnet installer,) were very different from the result of the same search done from my linux partition just few minutes after (just the time to restart the computer)
only few pages were similar, similar but with the addition of links for commercial programs (but i doubt that the link were for the autentic commercial programs) to remove the Claro malware, links that were not in the (apparently same page) if opened from a not infected OS
PS here i am not talking of the links added by google ads on top of each search, but the result of the search
Anyway, I can't see what possible motive CNet would have for embedding malware in installers
Money ...just money..what else ?
it is not a secret they admit openly (on their own site, even if in almost hidden pages) to modify the installers
The problem now may be that the rensponsable of fishing sites could afford to offer much more money respect to the distributor of less dangerous adware
A successfull phishing attack may even get the result to empty somebody bank account, it seems hard earning the same dealing adware.