How the word "free" is the Web’s most dangerous search term | Jeff Morris |

Who knew that "free" could lead to dowloading a bunch of adware and malware. 


A security researcher reveals how the results of a search for "free music downloads" ( the worst case search query) left his desktop littered with unwanted stuff.


Initial visible results were that he went from 3 to 19 programs on his desktop and adde six Firefox plugins and 12 extensions that turned his browser into a cluttered array of toolbars and icons.


Then came the saga of his attempts to remove all the damage his search and download had caused. His system had increased running processes from 44 to 77, startup processes from 5 to 19, and browser memory usage from 75 megabytes to over 300 megabytes.


In the end, he found it easier to restore his system from backup rather than try to remove all the mess the installations had caused.