In the last couple of days we have seen reports in the media which relate to a security hole found on some Dell computer equipment. The security hole theoretically allows an attacker to spy on the owners’ online banking, shopping, webmail, and more. Of course the chances of an attack are slim, but there is still a possibility of the security hole being used by an attacker. The cause of the problem relates to some software called ‘Dell Foundation Services’ which is installed on some PC’s and laptops, which in turn installs a certificate that has the security flaw.
Generally speaking our customers will remain unaffected by this because we have a policy of wiping and reinstalling computers, even new ones, to remove unnecessary software. We take this action because factory shipped computers include additional software which bloats the computer, reduces performance unnecessarily, and elevates the security risk to your computer network.
If you have purchased equipment directly from Dell, without asking us or another responsible IT support firm to prepare the computer on your behalf, then you may be vulnerable to the problem. If you have any doubts about this then you can look for ‘Dell Foundation Services’ on your computer or you can look for the ‘eDellRoot’ certificate on your computer.
Note that Dell are not the only manufacturer in recent times to have been spotted with such a gaping security hole on their systems. Lenovo had a similar issue back in August.