Lenovo will stop preloading Superfish adware on PCs

Lenovo found itself in a bit of hot water when some customers started noticing weird sponsored links in the search results on their brand new PCs. The culprit it turns out was a little piece of adware called Superfish the company was shipping on laptops. The company listened to customer complaints and turned off the server-side portion of the app in January. It also stopped pre-installing Superfish on new machines around the same time. While Lenovo said originally that it had “temporarily removed” the software from new machines while its developers worked on an update to address concerns, it now says that it will not preload the software ever again.

The add-on analyzes images and offers up ads for the same or similar products at a lower price. This, in and of itself, is slightly troublesome. But what really set off alarms was when users discovered how it worked; It installs a “man-in-the-middle” certificate that would allow Superfish and other parties to look at data from secure sites. Pop up ads are annoying, but leaving your bank info vulnerable to prying eyes is downright dangerous.

Lenovo says that has not found “any evidence to substantiate security concerns.” Though, the tweet above which seems to show a certificate to bankofamerica.com issued by Superfish seems like plenty of cause for concern. Even if the software is safe and secure, Lenovo doesn’t seem interested in pissing off its customers. So Superfish won’t be making a comeback.

The manufacturer did want to make one thing abundantly clear in a statement given to Engadget:

“Superfish technology is purely based on contextual/image and not behavioral. It does not profile nor monitor user behavior. It does not record user information. It does not know who the user is. Users are not tracked nor re-targeted. Every session is independent.”

Make of that what you will. But installing any sort of adware on a machine before it even leaves the factory seems like an obviously bad idea, regardless of whether or not it violates a user’s privacy.

Filed under: ,


Source: Engadget - Read the full article here

Author: Daily Tech Whip

This article is part of our 'News Tiles' service. The site is currently in Beta. When it is fully operational you will be able to search through and arrange the 'Tiles' to display a keyword, product or technology over your chosen time period. For example you would be able to display all of the leading tech articles on the new Kindle Fire, in one spot in real time. You will also have access to our own original reporting and analysis as well as a polished place to post your own thoughts & reviews here, amongst the Daily Tech Whip Community. Please let us know if you have any feedback via the contact form or via Twitter. Don't forget to come back next week and see our full site and claim your name and your own free tech blog.

Share This Post On