IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Lenovo stops shipping Superfish adware with consumer devices

Superfish adware had potential to make browser data available to hackers

Lenovo has confirmed it has stopped shipping adware with its consumer laptops, which could have led to encrypted user data being compromised by hackers.

Known as Superfish', the program injected visual search results into the browser without user permission, according to forums unearthed by The Next Web.

While OEMs routinely install bloatware on Windows machines, the Superfish adware appeared to be dangerous, not just inconvenient. This is because it used a self-signed certificate, which if compromised, could have provided hackers with access to all browser data - regardless of whether it had been encrypted. 

Lenovo's official statement

"We have thoroughly investigated this technology and do not find any evidence to substantiate security concerns," the firm said in a statement.

"But we know that users reacted to this issue with concern, and so we have taken direct action to stop shipping any products with this software.

"We will continue to review what we do and how we do it in order to ensure we put our user needs, experience and priorities first."

A Lenovo forum administrator tried to allay fears by stating Superfish did not "profile nor monitor user behavior" or "record user information". The firm has now confirmed it has stopped shipping devices with the software.

Many Lenovo users have expressed their dismay at the inclusion of the software.

"I have been working in tech software and systems engineering since mice were not even available for personal computers. I have never seen a brand, of any sort, come OTB with malware," noted a perplexed Lenovo customer.

"This is just unreal...and altogether unacceptable. Lenovo is a brand I always have associated with top quality, best practices trustworthy security. The brand has been rock solid, but sliding for years, and lately I have been having some concerns about its Chinese home...increasingly concerning to me in light of technology security and attacks originating from China."

Below is a tutorial showing users how to uninstall the adware. Those affected are also encouraged to install a fresh copy of Windows to make sure the rogue security certificate is completely removed from their system.

The article was originally published on 19/2/15 and has been updated to reflect with the latest statements from Lenovo.

Featured Resources

Activation playbook: Deliver data that powers impactful, game-changing campaigns

Bringing together data and technology to drive better business outcomes

Free Download

In unpredictable times, a data strategy is key

Data processes are crucial to guide decisions and drive business growth

Free Download

Achieving resiliency with Everything-as-a-Service (XAAS)

Transforming the enterprise IT landscape

Free Download

What is contextual analytics?

Creating more customer value in HR software applications

Free Download

Recommended

IT Pro News in Review: Vulnerable Lenovo laptops, record EE 5G speeds, Okta ends LAPSUS$ probe
Security

IT Pro News in Review: Vulnerable Lenovo laptops, record EE 5G speeds, Okta ends LAPSUS$ probe

22 Apr 2022
PC sales slow in 2022 after pandemic recovery begins
Hardware

PC sales slow in 2022 after pandemic recovery begins

11 Apr 2022
IT Pro News In Review: The Works cyber attack, Lenovo recruitment drive, old macOS vulnerabilities
cyber security

IT Pro News In Review: The Works cyber attack, Lenovo recruitment drive, old macOS vulnerabilities

8 Apr 2022
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook review: A confident convertible
Laptops

Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook review: A confident convertible

14 Mar 2022

Most Popular

Europe's first autonomous petrol station opens in Lisbon
automation

Europe's first autonomous petrol station opens in Lisbon

23 May 2022
Nvidia pauses hiring to help cope with inflation
Careers & training

Nvidia pauses hiring to help cope with inflation

23 May 2022
Windows 11's nifty new search feature has one major downside
Microsoft Windows

Windows 11's nifty new search feature has one major downside

23 May 2022