Superfish is a form of adware that has the ability to hijack encrypted Web sessions and open a system up to potential HTTPS man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attacks. Superfish gained widespread attention in early 2015 when it was revealed that the PC manufacturer Lenovo was selling computers that had Superfish adware preinstalled.
Superfish Installed on Lenovo Computers Raised Security Concerns in 2015
Lenovo shipped some consumer notebook models with Superfish preinstalled between October and December 2014, but discontinued the practice after security concerns over the adware components were raised in January 2015.
Lenovo initially claimed that the Superfish adware presented no security risks, but the company changed its stance on February 20th, when it issued a security advisory and labeled the Superfish adware as a security vulnerability that carried the potential impact of launching a man-in-the-middle attack. On the same day, Lenovo released an automated tool to remove all Superfish components on its computers.
Superfish has since raised a variety of security concerns for the adware primarily revolving around the use a self-signed root certificate that could potentially enable Superfish to intercept otherwise secure communications and gain access to a user's Web traffic, login credentials, credit card details and other sensitive information.
Superfish and Comodia Elicit Security Alert from US-CERT
Komodia's technology has also been identified as a Trojan horse by some security vendors, with Symantec labeling the malware as "Trojan.Nurjax." And the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) issued an alert on February 20th, 2015 that exposed Superfish for being a risk beyond just in Lenovo notebooks.
The US-Cert named Komodia, the firm behind creating the Superfish adware, and revealed the firm's SSL Digestor technology as being present on other applications and carrying the same associated risks on these apps.
According to the alert, "An attacker can spoof HTTPS sites and intercept HTTPS traffic without triggering browser certificate warnings in affected systems." The US-CERT recommends uninstalling any software with Komodia's SSL Digestor as the only effective solution for avoiding the risks associated with Superfish.
IT Solutions Builder TOP IT RESOURCES TO MOVE YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD
Which topic are you interested in?
What is your company size?
What is your job title?
What is your job function?
Searching our resource database to find your matches...
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
From A3 to ZZZ this guide lists 1,500 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Read More »List of Well-Known TCP Port Numbers
Port numbers 0 to 1024 are reserved for privileged services and designated as well-known ports. This list of port numbers are specified in... Read More »
Computer architecture provides an introduction to system design basics for most computer science students. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »The Five Generations of Computers
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that we use... Read More »