XDA-Developers used to be the place to go for people to get together and do something. That something usually was make ROMs, help out developers, get people to beta test software before it went prime time, and generally help with multi platform developing.
What they’ve been advising for the past three years is for developers to host their goods on a site that intentionally pushes malware to you. On Pocketables we warned you about this malware site back in April in a piece called The Dangers of Dev-Host.
Back in April it had been operating pushing junk for several weeks that I was aware of. Over the ensuing six months of directing developers to host their ROMs, tools, etc at a place that provided free hosting for XDA developers in exchange for pushing malware at the users (unbeknownst to the developers hosting there).
You can read the original page source in our April article in which they included links titled “fake downloader” that installed malware on your computer.
Six months and uncounted malware later, XDA finally has to back off of their relationship with Dev-Host. My guess is the embarrassment versus the gains from directing traffic there finally tilted the decision.
Now, the interesting thing here is there are plenty of free hosting alternatives out there, AndroidFileHost being one. They’ve been around forever and three days. The only reason I can think of XDA would have stuck with Dev-Host through all the problems was financial.
Anyway, the story is that the negative response from infected users has finally outweighed whatever gains XDA was getting from Dev-Host, and basically that should tell you about how much to trust whoever is making the partnering decisions at that site, which is sad because all the content of note on XDA is produced for free by developers, which had their names attached to scams, malware, and a ton of infected computers.
XDA says “Sorry for the inconvenience,” in their post about dumping Dev-Host. I hope that was worth making everyone who participated look bad, including the people who work and volunteer at the site.
It should be noted that any developer can, in about ten minutes, set up their own free hosting that works without the need of a central point of failure such as these free hosting sites and never have to worry that their users are going to get infected with malware, that a random mirror of their file host is not going to have the file you uploaded intact, etc.