E2 Computers - Rants, Raves and Food Reviews

Is Lenovo a victim too. They may not be the only one to install superfish on PCs.

Homeland security recently issued a warning for customers of Lenovo system to remove the “Superfish bug” from their computers. It is an adware tool and it may make your PC vulnerable to SSL spoofing.  In further reading they say these system may fall into the Man-in-the-Middle attacks.  Lenovo says the system with Superfish on them where only produced from September to December of 2014.  Lenovo denies claims going back to 2010, se the article “US government tells Lenovo customers to remove Superfish adware or risk cyber attack” by Jamie Hinks at TechRadar.Com.

So why are we saying Lenovo may be a victim too.  While the admit to loading the supposed consumer utility in 2014, we do not believe they are the only manufacture that may have loaded this or related tools on PCs.  It just so happened a customer came in to our shop with a Samsung system (not Lenovo) and the Superfish bug was on this computer as well.  Could our customer have gotten the program some other way, sure but my hunch being that it was an old file is it had been there along time.  While I have no proof it was installed by Samsung nor am I accusing them of intentionally doing something like this I just think it is possible there are other companies that installed small programs for a fee and did not know the breadth of what they do.

In the industry some of us will refer to this as sneaker netting. Loading code on the back of another install. An example of this is whenever you get an update of Flash Player or Reader from Adobe the install is loaded with a small gift. Lately it has been Chrome Browser but we have seen Ask, and Bing in the Past. Unless you uncheck the boxes these are going to get installed during the update.

It might be time manufactures of PCs take a page from the Custom Builder playbook and install only an operating system.  Although this could hurt their margins as I am sure they get some residual from each of the companies software they force down the customers throat.

Sometimes the software included is necessary to make specific devices work like DVD Burners, Blu Ray and Bluetooth but often their are other pieces of software that just don’t need to be automatically installed. Some of these include A vendor specific version of Anti Virus, Shopping link to eBay and Amazon (these links can be monetized and may have great income potential for the manufacture of the pc). Other links may include Photo Sharing sites, Facebook, and many other marketing/advertising tools.

So what is the takeaway from this rant?

  1. Simple check your PC for unwanted programs or PUPs
  2. Uninstall programs that you no longer use.
  3. Uninstall programs you did not install and have verified that you do not need.
  4. Ensure that you are using a good Virus protection software.
  5. Ensure you are using a good malware protection software if it is not part of you antivirus software.
  6. Do not trust software just because the manufacture installed it on you computer.
  7. Research suspicious programs or ones that you do not know their function, not all unknown programs are bad. But it is good to have a little understanding of program functions.
  8. If your computer is doing unusual things it may be time for a tune-up. Computers are made to do the same thing over and over again with minimum failure. If a computer is not returning expected results than their may be something wrong.  In a simpler explanation every time you eat a Lemmon you get a tart sour taste. If suddenly a lemon tastes like chocolate you know there is something wrong with either the lemon or your tongue.  Most people would research or try to find out why this is happening and fix it, of course if you have lemons that taste like chocolate you may have the next best product. But, seriously when the computer is not doing what it is supposed to don’t expect if to fix itself because most of the time it won’t.
  9. Bring the system to have Superfiish removed if you have it or try removing it on your own if you are a DYI type. Some tips for removing the Superfish can found in the article “Remove Superfish Window Shopper (Uninstall Guide)” at Malwaretips.com

Technical stuff that is good to know from the techies at E2 Computers in Tarpon Springs and www.end2endsupport.com.

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