Skip to main content

Lenovo partners with Microsoft, McAfee to remove Superfish adware

Lenovo is looking to clean up its adware mess, following a huge backlash from customers unaware that the program Superfish was stealing private information.

Reports were published last week on the Superfish program, which Lenovo pre-installs on most of its Windows laptops. The program is capable of taking screenshots of banking and changing security keys for fake certificates.

Initially, Lenovo denied that Superfish was anything bad, and even claimed users wanted the adware installed due to a poll completed by the adware company.

The Chinese manufacturer has done a full 180 in the past few days, cancelling the partnership with Superfish and now acquiring the help of McAfee and Microsoft Defender to block the adware program from continuing to work.

"We ordered Superfish preloads to stop and had server connections shut down in January based on user complaints about the experience," read a statement from Lenovo. "While this issue in no way impacts our ThinkPads, any tablets, desktops or smartphones, or any enterprise server or storage device, we recognise that all Lenovo customers need to be informed."

Lenovo claims it never knew that Superfish was stealing information from customers, believing that the program only offers alternative ads through its web tracking program.

No other laptop or PC manufacturer has been spotted running Superfish, and HP even poked some fun at the company on Twitter, pointing out the only thing HP customers should think of when someone says 'Superfish' is sushi (opens in new tab).

It does raise awareness for the lacklustre amount of supervision when computer manufacturers add bloatware to their systems. Even though most of it comes from the company, like HP's printing and cloud programs, it is still unwanted in most cases.

Hopefully Superfish will make customers more aware and against further bloatware on PC, looking to attain a stock launch on Windows without any annoying pre-installed applications.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.