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Dell Laptops Found Preloaded with Dodgy Root CA, Users Feel Superfish Deja Vu

Over the week, online media outlets reported a security blunder reported in new Dell machines that allows cybercriminals to intercept Dell laptops and steal user data.

Some users found that their new model Dell machines came with pre-installed root Certificate Authority (CA), named eDellRoot, that enables cybercriminals to snoop into their PC’s web browser. Instead of enhancing the encryption, the root CA’s private key could sign potentially harmful malwares and allowed them to appear legitimate.

edell-certificate-test

Perpetrators could use this to their advantage to decrypt the encrypted data (such as your credentials to online banking website) without a user noticing it. As a result, attackers could launch Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attack to steal, modify, or destroy user data.

Initially when the news made rounds, Dell defended the accusation through its Twitter handle (@DellCares) claiming that it didn’t pose any threat to the users. However, the company soon posted an apology in their website and is offering solutions to disable eDellRoot. The Texas-based company had started receiving flak from increasing number of customers who had bought the latest range of Dell computers that were affected by the vulnerability.

The company hasn’t come out with details about the machines affected by this vulnerability, but so far users have reported that the XPS 15, Latitude E7450, Inspiron 5548, Inspiron 5000, Inspiron 3647, and Precision M4800 series have been found using the same root CA.

The savvy tech community is especially furious because the Dell incident hits them close to home, reminding them of the horrific Superfish scandal that took place early this year. Back then, the Lenevo laptops were sold with preloaded bloatware that were capable of intercepting encrypted web pages and making browsers more prone to MITM attacks.

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Posted by on January 14, 2016 in Internet Security, vulnerability

 

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Human expertise filling endpoint security holes that defunct antivirus tools no longer can

Human expertise filling endpoint security holes that defunct antivirus tools no longer can

Endpoint traffic has to be under control to sustain the security defense mechanism in today’s digital world. Though there are a wide range of security tools available, human intervention is mandatory to fix the security flaws of any outdated conventional antivirus software and to know how to protect the endpoints from Malicious attacks.

All of us totally rely on the use of laptops, tablets and mobiles almost for all our day to day needs. Its presence everywhere entails the demand for a higher fold of security that overshoots the traditional security perimeter as the conventional methods do not provide an effective protective mechanism.

Earlier days, these conventional antivirus software were a good source of protective system strong enough to defend any malware attacks. Current malware attacks / vulnerability are intelligent enough to get into the system through phishing mails. They are developed in such a way that when the target victim opens an email attachment or simply click on any of the links that the user finds it in the mail, then he/she will be highly be prone to infection.

The security attacks have possibly been increasing due to the users’ wrong practice of dealing with security issues. Most of the users have an outdated security software that makes the endpoints vulnerable to malware infections. Installing a security software is not just enough to protect the endpoint devices it is also important for the users to keep a check on the updates of the software for any latest security patches. A recent study on human behavior confirms that most of the humans are prone to the phishing emails that they get convinced and click on the attachments and the links and hence get infected. If you are looking at Protecting your Endpoints it is not about relying on the security software completely it is also important to use a proper sense of intelligence.

 

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