The story of Lenovo computers with the Superfish adware preinstalled that causes a huge security hole started having legal consequences too. The first report arrived about a class-action filed in federal court against both Lenovo and Superfish, the company that produced the adware.
Her name is Jessica Bennett and she’s the owner of a Lenovo Yoga 2 PC (photo of a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro ©Yaoj1), one of the models that were sold for a few weeks with the Superfish adware preinstalled. The plaintiff said that she noticed spam advertising with scantily clad women on her laptop. Initially she thought she suffered a hacking but searching on the Internet she found out that other people noticed something similar on other Lenovo laptops.
After discovering that her problem was due to a Superfish adware, Jessica Bennett decided to sue both Lenovo and Superfish. The allegations are that they compromised her PC’s security but also of invasion of privacy for financial gain.
After an initial hesitation, Lenovo had to apologize for the incident and published a page where there are instructions to remove the Superfish adware. That’s all too late and could cost the company a lot since the owners of computers with the adware preinstalled may decide to join the class action.
The public admission that he had made a mess sounds like a confession. On the other hand, in recent days even Homeland Security issued a warning about the Superfish adware. In the description, it’s explicitly indicated as a spyware and obviously they explain that it causes a vulnerability in network connections, including the encrypted ones.
Lenovo really messed up and now is trying to fix it. Honestly, I hope this story costs a lot to the company because it striking it financially is the only way to hope that such a thing won’t happen again. It’s about time that manufacturers pay attention to what they preinstall on their computers, thinking really about their customers’ interests.
Despite the controversy and the class action, the producer of Superfish adware keeps on claiming to be completely transparent in what its software does and that users were never vulnerable. Even Homeland Security thinks otherwise and criticisms on the way the Superfish adware works were fierce. We’ll see what the court competent for the class action thinks about it.