A security flaw akin to the Superfish adware that hit Lenovo last February is said to have infected a number of laptops from Dell.
The flaw, otherwise known as the eDellRoot certificate, is said to bring a security vulnerability which, if brought to the hands of hackers, could be used to spy on web traffic. Dell acknowledged the issue and made it clear that its certificate is not used for adware.
"The certificate is not malware or adware," said Dell in a blog post. "Rather, it was intended to provide the system service tag to Dell online support allowing us to quickly identify the computer model, making it easier and faster to service our customers. This certificate is not being used to collect personal customer information. It's also important to note that the certificate will not reinstall itself once it is properly removed using the recommended Dell process."
The post also contained instructions on how customers can permanently remove the certificate from their system. Customers can download the file and choose to automatically remove the certificate by clicking this link or manually remove it by following certain steps.
There are at least 11 steps that one has to do according to the file.
1. Open Task Manager. This can be done by right clicking on the taskbar, where you can then choose the Task Manager.
2. Once the Task Manager window is open, choose the tab called "Services."
3. Scroll down the page until you find the words "Open Services" at the bottom. Click "Open Services."
4. Scroll down carefully and then click "Dell Foundation Services" once you found it.
5. Click "Stop the service." You can find this on the left part of the page.
6. The "Services" window should appear like the image below. It indicates that you have successfully stopped the service.
7. Open "File Explorer" and then navigate to "c:\Program Files\Dell\Dell Foundation Services." Next, delete the file named "Dell.Foundation.Agent.Plugins.eDell.dll."
8. The page may display a warning where it will tell you that file access is denied. Click "Continue" in order to delete the file.
9. Hit the Windows key on the keyboard. It's found between the "Ctrl" and the "Alt" keys. Type "certmgr.msc" and then click the "Enter" key.
10. The page will then show you a question on whether you want to allow the program to make changes to your PC. Click the box that says "Yes."
11. At this point, you will see the certificate manager window open. Look for the "Trusted Root Certification Authorities" on the left panel and double click on it. Afterwards, double click on the folder that says "Certificates."