Lenovo may have just committed one of the biggest blunders in its history by preloading a number of its laptops with an adware called Superfish. The way by which this software is integrated on several computer models is reportedly dangerous as it can expose PCs to all kinds of security attacks. Superfish comes pre-installed on various Lenovo computers but users should be aware that it can also be installed on any computer.
What is Superfish?
Users on Lenovo?s forum previously discovered that the Chinese manufacturer has been pre-installing a handful of their consumer PCs with a software known as Superfish Visual discovery. Basically, it inserts its own ads into webpages like Google search results. One Lenovo forum admin described like this:
?To be clear, Superfish comes with Lenovo consumer products only and is a technology that helps users find and discover products visually. The technology instantly analyzes images on the web and presents identical and similar product offers that may have lower prices, helping users search for images without knowing exactly what an item is called or how to describe it in a typical text-based search engine.?
So yes, you can call it an adware. But some have gone so far as to call it malware since it may also compromise your digital security and privacy. To be fair, Lenovo may not intentionally want to expose you to hacking or cyber espionage; they just wanted to inject money-making advertisements to every site you visit. However, the way they?ve done it is inefficient at best and can theoretically allow malicious hackers to intercept private communications of many users.
It?s still not clear which Lenovo machines have come preloaded with it but some users reported that they?ve seen it on the following models: Lenovo Y50, Z40, Z50, G50 and Yoga 2 Pro models.
How to detect and remove Superfish from your PC
Intentional or not, you really cannot trust secure connections anymore if you have the adware installed on your PC. We?ve come across this guide on the Lenovo forums discussing how you can check if your computer is ?infected? with Superfish along with a method on how to remove. Here?s a quick outline.
- On Windows 8.1, Open Search
- Search for ?remove programs? and select ?Add or remove programs?
- In the list of installed items, find ?Superfish Inc. Visual Discovery?. ?(If you do not find an item with the name ?Superfish Inc. VisualDiscovery?, you do not have the application installed.)
- Select ?Uninstall?.
How to uninstall Superfish certificates
After removing the SuperFish program, the certificate may still remain. ?It is crucial to delete the certificate even though the application itself has already been removed.
- Head back to the Start menu and search for ?certmgr.msc.? Launch it.
- When prompted by Windows, ?Do you want to allow this program to make changes to this computer??, select ?Yes?
- Click on “Trusted Root Certification Authorities” and open Certificates.
- Look for any certificates that include Superfish Inc, and right-click to delete them
- On touch systems, you may select the red ?X? in top toolbar.
- When prompted by Windows to confirm the deletion, select ?Yes?. ?The certificate should now be removed. Restart your device.
Photo Credit: ?Superfish