Lenovo has promised not to include Superfish with products in the future, but how dangerous is the adware to consumers?
According to security researchers, the problem is worse than we thought.
Last week, reports surfaced that claimed that Lenovo Notebooks had been issued to consumers containing a preloaded security flaw. Originally, the Chinese tech giant said the Superfish adware was not a security concern — however, eventually the company realized and admitted that the software was able to install its own self-signing man-in-the-middle (MITM) proxy service which has the potential to hijack SSL and TLS connections — a severe, nasty security vulnerability.
On Saturday, Lenovo issued a statement saying the company “did not know about this potential security vulnerability,” and admitted it was the company’s mistake in allowing the adware to slip the net.
“We recognize that this was our miss, and we will do better in the future. Now we are focused on fixing it,” Lenovo said.
According to a Lenovo security advisory, Superfish came preloaded on notebook products shipped between September 2014 and February 2015. The firm has reached out to Superfish to “disable all server activity associated with their product,” and promises not to preload this software on products in the future.
But just how serious is Superfish, and how can it harm consumers?
On Friday, the Threat Infrastructure team at Facebook issued an analysis of the adware, saying that while it is not uncommon for PC products to come preloaded with applications, Superfish is different due to its ability to intercept SSL and TLS website connections. Superfish is able to inspect this content and use a third-party library from Komodia to “modify the Windows networking stack and install a new root Certificate Authority (CA),” which in turn gave the adware power to impersonate any SSL-enabled website.
Lenovo and Superfish were slapped with a proposed class-action lawsuit filed late last week in federal court, according to reports.
Here are some helpful resources for you to understand the Superfish application threat and how to remove it yourself.
If it has proven to be difficult for you to remove this application yourself, please feel free to contact CTI Technology and let us help you with safely removing the malicious software from your Lenovo devices.