Posted 02/19/2015 at 3:03 PM
Posted 3 years ago
It’s difficult enough for computer users battling all sorts of malware nowadays; it’s even more distressing when you learn that the new laptop you just purchased came pre-installed with adware — preloaded purposefully by the laptop manufacturer!
Lenovo was shipping their laptops with the Superfish adware pre-installed.
According to this report, the adware was inserting ads onto browsers of infected machines.
Lenovo told the BBC “Lenovo removed Superfish from the preloads of new consumer systems in January 2015. At the same time Superfish disabled existing Lenovo machines in the market from activating Superfish.”
They added “Superfish was preloaded on to a select number of consumer models only. Lenovo is thoroughly investigating all and any new concerns raised regarding Superfish.”
Users are understandably furious on learning of the issue. A security expert, Professor Alan Woodward of Surrey University said “It is annoying. It is not acceptable. It pops up adverts that you never asked for. It is like Google on steroids.”
Woodward added “This bit of software is particularly naughty. People have shown that it can basically intercept everything and it could be really misused…If someone went to, say, the Bank of America then Superfish would issue its own certificate pretending to be the Bank of America and intercept whatever you are sending back and forth.”
As to Lenovo’s motivations about this, Woodward said “Lenovo is being very coy about this but it needs to explain how long it has been doing this, what the scale is and where all the data it has collected is being stored…There will be remnants of it left on machines and Lenovo does not ship the disks that allow people to do a clean install.”
This incident could pose a major threat to the Lenovo brand name. How does Lenovo restore trust with their users after something like this?