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Downloading .exe files maybe harm your computer . this error my customers see when they try to download some .exe files from my website

Posted on 2006-05-02
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Last Modified: 2010-04-06
Hello experts

I have my own website and various of downloads .exe , when somebody try to download an attention given to the visitor that the file maybe harm your computer and some other thinks ... like this i am losing my customers ... i dont know why internet explorer saying that but the files are not viruses or spywares. any other way to download my customers without seeing that ?
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Question by:KingSencat
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Expert Comment

by:WelkinMaze
ID: 16584085
Hi,
it probably considers all .exe files as potentialy dangerous.
You may try to change their extension to something different from .exe and provide instructions to the clients to rename the files after downloading them.
Also you may try to Zip or Rar them.
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by:KingSencat
ID: 16584122
Any other way downloading with java or something else?
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by:WelkinMaze
ID: 16584134
Downloading with java will be even more difficult for security reasons. Java applets are not easily allowed to do whatever they want.
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by:KingSencat
ID: 16584233
what you mean for difficult ?
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WelkinMaze earned 2000 total points
ID: 16584251
I mean that first you have to program a java applet. Second the user must allow that the applet can download files on his computer. And furthermore the user has to allow execution of applets. Generally it will lead to more security issues than the warning your clients receive now.So I think the approach with renaming the exe files or zipping them is quire better.
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by:Mr_Lenehan
ID: 16586166
I totally agree with WelkinMaze, having your clients/users download .zip will not be totally alien to them (in most instances).  IE will then not throw up a dirty filthy nasty warning page which puts people off downloading your file.
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by:jessegivy
ID: 16602575
You could also just include a disclaimer.  I'm doubtful that anyone who doesn't recognize the dialog from IE asking to trust the source would be well versed in the use of zip files.  I'm just suggesting a brightly colored bordered box on your download page that informs users that they can trust that your data isn't malicous.  You could even quote the dialog.

...just a thought, zip idea isn't bad either, self-extracting version reccomended.
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by:jessegivy
ID: 16602664
Do you have the content type set?  Or in other words, how are you currently allowing downloads?
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by:WelkinMaze
ID: 16603404
Hi jessegivy,
Could self-extracting version be something different than exe?
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by:floorman67
ID: 16607672
create archives out of the exe (.zip, .rar, .ace, .cab, .gz)

.zip is by far the msot widely recognized and used

the reason users get that message is becasue their client (browser) is set to warn them.

you can do nothing about it server-side other than compress the executable (exe) into and archive, and even then they will probably get anotehr message warning them of downlaoding files from the web, unless they have their security setting for download notifications suppressed.
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by:mackenga
ID: 16725823
MSIE will warn about .exe files, and it would also warn about any self extractor (you could, for example, conceivably make a non-exe self extractor that stored the archive in base64-encoded strings and was itself a JScript or VBScript file, but MSIE would (should?) probably consider that potentially harmful too and complain.

Modern browsers warn users about potentially dangerous content.  This is because of historical user stupidity.  Unfortunately, now they're too stupid to realise when a file is actually safe.  User handholding is causing problems for people like you by creating an environment where users are actively discouraged from informing themselves and making informed decisions.

One way to help convince users to trust executables from your site is to digitally sign them.  I distribute source when I distribute my software, so I don't have this problem and don't know much about it, but I believe you can pay a certification authority (like VeriSign) to produce a certificate you can use to prove your identity online, which you can use to sign your software so that you can also use this method to prove the software came from you.  Your users would still be asked if they trusted you, but it's better than the generic "this might hurt you" message.

Personally, I still wouldn't trust your binaries.  Is there a very good reason not to distribute your software in source form, under the GNU General Public License?  You might have to be a bit more creative when it comes to figuring out how to make money from it, but nothing promotes trust like open source, and the old binary-peddler business model is on the way out anyway.
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