But they didn't do anything illegal. They're basically just using their own download application that comes with extra stuff.
Yes, but Download.com still assures users that they will never bundle that "extra stuff". Their Adware & Spyware Notice says:
In your letters, user reviews, and polls, you told us bundled adware was unacceptable--no matter how harmless it might be. We want you to know what you're getting when you download from CNET Download.com, and no other download site can promise that.
Also, they make it look like a download link for the real installer (which it used to be), and then the user gets this CNET crap. But they still used our name liberally in the trojan installer as if we were somehow responsible for or involved in this abomination. I've got screen shots on my Download.com fiasco page.
Also, this "apology" rings hollow because they aren't fixing the problem along with it. In particular:
1) He claims that bundling malware with Nmap was a “mistake on our part” and “we reviewed all open source files in our catalog to ensure none are being bundled.” Either that is a lie, or they are totally incompetent, because tons of open source software is still being bundled. You can read the comments below his post for many examples.
2) Even if they had removed the malware bundling from open source software, what about all of the other free (but not open source) Windows software out there? They shouldn't infect any 3rd party software with sketchy toolbars, search engine redirectors, etc.
3) At the same time that Sean sent the “apology” to users, he sent this very different note to developers. He says they are working on a new expanded version of the rogue installer and “initial feedback from developers on our new model has been very positive and we are excited to bring this to the broader community as soon as possible”. He tries to mollify developers by promising to give them a cut (“revenue share”) of the proceeds from infecting their users.
4) You no longer need to register and log in to get the small (non-trojan) “direct download” link, but the giant green download button still exposes users to malware.
5) The Download.Com Adware & Spyware Notice still says “every time you download software from Download.com, you can trust that we've tested it and found it to be adware-free.” How can they say that while they are still adding their own adware? At least they removed the statement from their trojan installer that it is “SAFE, TRUSTED, AND SPYWARE FREE”.
We don't really understand it, so we'll give it to the programmers.