A strong accusation is leveled against one of the tech giants Lenovo, for installing dubious software on its laptops to its customers. Malicious software ‘Superfish’ which comes already installed on Lenovo’s laptops was detected to be a malware which threatened customers’ security.
This invasive software was intended to help customers identify products, be able to analyse images using this feature and compare prices of similar and identical product offers. What the software does is to serve adverts on web pages like Google. This was indicated by Owen Williams of The Next Web.
This feature as reports indicate was trying to impersonate the security certificates of encrypted websites in order to serve their adverts to unsuspecting customers. Customers who use this feature have already had their sensitive security information compromised which threatens their security and safety. Personal security information like pass codes and bank details of affected customers could easily be accessed by the hacker.
A number of antivirus programs flagged the software as unwanted and harmful according to the register. The malicious software has since be sighted in 2014 but has now caught public attention and ridicule. During the hullabaloo Lenovo communicated the removal of the harmful software from its consumers’ PCs until a proper antidote for it is developed.
Statement by Lenovo
“Due to some issues (browser pop up behaviour for example), with the Superfish Visual Discovery browser add-on, we have temporarily removed Superfish from our consumer systems until such time as Superfish is able to provide a software build that addresses these issues. As for units already in market, we have requested that Superfish auto-update a fix that addresses these issues.
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 analyses 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.
The Superfish Visual Discovery engine analyzes an image 100% algorithmically, providing similar and near identical images in real time without the need for text tags or human intervention. When a user is interested in a product, Superfish will search instantly among more than 70,000 stores to find similar items and compare prices so the user can make the best decision on product and price.