Microsoft quickly updates its free built-in antivirus software, Windows Defender, to safely remove the controversial Superfish adware program that Lenovo has been pre-loading in new machines. Best of all, the update for Windows Defender not only removes the software, but also the leftover bad root certificate.
The software it’s actually called Superfish Visual Discovery and it’s an adware that can generate a root certificate in Windows and then resign all SSL certificates presented by HTTPS websites with its own certificate, method known as a man-in-the-middle attack.
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Potentially this vulnerability can allow hackers to gain access to user’s secure browsing data, enabling malicious individuals to steal passwords, bank information, and other important data.
Today, Microsoft took upon itself to eliminate Lenovo’s mess by rolling out an update for its Windows Defender. Microsoft’s antivirus detects the program as a malware, according to Filippo Valsord, who posted on Twitter the new finding.
If you have a Lenovo computer and you want to remove the adware using Windows Defender, make sure to disable any other antivirus you may have running. Go to Control Panel / Windows Update / Check for updates, and make sure to download the latest update for Windows Defender if it’s not already installed. Then go back to the Control Panel and launch Windows Defender, and perform a full scan of your system.
While Lenovo has published a set of instructions to manually remove Superfish from computers, the process can be a little hard to follow if you’re not a tech-savvy individual. However, the PC maker promise that will be releasing an automated tool to remove the adware completely on Friday.