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. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"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.



cyber security

Report: 16.5 million Britons fell victim to cyber crime in the past year

1 Apr 2020
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS launches Amazon Detective for investigating security incidents

1 Apr 2020

UK government to launch coronavirus 'contact tracking' app

1 Apr 2020
video conferencing

Zoom admits meetings don't use end-to-end encryption

1 Apr 2020

Most Popular


Google releases location data to show effectiveness of coronavirus lockdowns

3 Apr 2020
data management

Oracle cloud courses are free during coronavirus lockdown

31 Mar 2020

These are the companies offering free software during the coronavirus crisis

2 Apr 2020