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Adobe Download Manager Installing Software Without Consent 98

"Not all is worth cheering about as Adobe turns 20," writes reader adeelarshad82, who excerpts from a story at PC Magazine's Security Watch: "Researcher Aviv Raff has found a problem in ADM (Adobe Download Manager) and the method through which it is delivered from The net effect of the problem is that a user can be tricked into downloading and installing software using ADM without actual consent. Tonight Adobe acknowledged the report and said they were working on the issue with Raff and NOS Microsystems, the company that wrote ADM."
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Adobe Download Manager Installing Software Without Consent

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  • Re:Bonjour (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Icegryphon ( 715550 ) on Friday February 19, 2010 @06:39PM (#31205382)
    I don't see how this is off topic. Unless you are some Mac/iTunes Fanboy.
    When you install a piece of software you should be warned of hitchhikers and be given the option to not install.
    Bonjour is packaged with a few pieces of useless trash now.
  • by gknoy ( 899301 ) <gknoy AT anasazisystems DOT com> on Friday February 19, 2010 @08:25PM (#31206380)

    Conversely, they know that a major subset of their users are like my father.

    When Itunes wants to be updated, it says, "Hey! Update me!". My father says OK, and a browser opens. He has to find the download link (took him a while to realize that was what needed doing). Then, he has to save it locally. Then, he has to FIND the file and actually run it. Some users think that after they've downloaded it, it's installed - whoops. If they do actually think they need to run it, sometimes they have a hard time finding it.

    Download managers are a superb annoyance to power users like you or me, but are a great asset to users like my father. It downloads stuff in the background, and then says, "Hey, I have an update -- want me to install it?" Or, even better, "I've automagically updated your software to be more awesome."

    Sure, sometimes they lie about it being more awesome, or don't tell that Lame Things are being installed. That's a problem, but it's a flaw of execution rather than a fundamental flaw of download managers themselves.

    I'd even like a download manager, if it could be centrally arranged (so I didn't have Adobe, Real,Apple, Opera, Windows and Java all wanting to auto-update stuff). The only reason I DON'T use them is because they always pop up at a time when I want to get work (or play) done, and I usually don't CARE about whether I have the latest and greatest JVM or Quicktime or Flash or Acrobat Reader. (I *should* care about the adobe products, given their level of exploitability, but I don't often read PDFs, and when I do it's with Foxit.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 19, 2010 @08:30PM (#31206414)

    That's two strikes now for Adobe. As TFA says, Adobe also uses the Akamai Download Manager [] for downloads from the Adobe Store. This thing installs itself and runs *forever*, not just for the download you paid for in the store.

    It has a P2P mode where client machines (that's *you*, sucker) distribute the downloaded software using your bandwidth in the background. Is there an icon in the taskbar letting you know? Nope, it runs silent and deep (it does show up as Akamai something-or-other in Process Explorer).

    It's like running BitTorrent and donating your bandwidth to Akamai and their friends. Except not on purpose.

    But hey, you probably clicked through a EULA that you didn't read, so it's all on you right?

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser