"All third-party offers are clearly identified as such, and there is no requirement for the user to download and install the offer; rather, a user has the option to Accept or Decline," Sean Murphy, CBS Interactive's vice president and general manager says in the statement.
The statement has not mollified security professionals, however. In a post last Wednesday, eEye Digital Security argued that adding unwanted third-party software to a system can undermine security.
"The user is entirely unaware of what vulnerabilities -- or worse, spyware -- lies within some random toolbar that was bundled with their favorite ISO mounting software or with the Java installer," the company writes. "All they want is what they came for, whether that is Nmap or Adobe Reader or a My Little Pony screensaver."
This story, "Security pros slam Cnet Download.com's bundling," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.