Microsoft says the Superfish adware that potentially exposed thousands of Lenovo PCs to man-in-the-middle attacks is well under control.
To battle the Superfish scourge, Microsoft added automated detection of the adware to its real-time protection products, such as Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials. The company said in a blog post that it also shared Superfish detection data with its partners to further expand the Superfish cleanup, as Computerworld first reported.
Microsoft didn’t release a specific count for the number of PCs rid of Superfish. But based on a graph the company published, it appears around 250,000 PCs had Superfish removed via the Microsoft-led effort.
At its peak around February 21—two days after the Superfish news broke—Superfish removals per day stood at 60,000. As of March 4, the number of daily removals was in the hundreds.
Why this matters: Superfish was a nasty little piece of software that Lenovo pre-installed on machines to serve ads to users in their browsers. The method it used to display ads, however, unwittingly exposed users to a vulnerability that made it easy for hackers to steal login credentials or observe web surfing activities. Fixing this gaping security hole was an urgent matter for users and it was excellent that Microsoft jumped on the issue as quickly as it did.
Superfish was not a Windows-wide problem and only affected consumer-grade Lenovo PCs sold between September 2014 and February 2015. Lenovo halted Superfish installation on new Lenovo PCs in January. There is still a chance, however, that some Lenovo PCs sitting on store shelves are loaded with the adware.
Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn't like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he's not covering the news he's working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.