Some recent Dell computers have included a root certificate called eDellRoot that was designed to help Dell support staff identify a computer when users requested support.
Unfortunately eDellRoot also posed a pretty serious security risk.
Now Dell has responded with instructions for manually removing eDellRoot from an affected computer. The company also says it will stop loading the certificate on computers moving forward, and that a software update rolling out this week will automatically remove the software from many computers.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because the situation is similar to one Lenovo found itself in earlier this year when it was discovered that the company was pre-installing software called “Superfish” on its computers.
But while Superfish was installed for advertising purposes, Dell wasn’t making any money from eDellRoot. The company says it was only installed to make it easier to provide support for Dell computers. And Dell did respond to the situation pretty quickly once the security implications were pointed out.
Still, it’s a reminder that there’s more than one way to interpret the recent marketing campaign from Dell, HP, Lenovo, Intel, and Microsoft that asks “PC does what?”