Dell has admitted that it as unintentionally installed software on their machines that contains a serious security flaw that can be taken advantage of.
The software in question is called ‘eDellRoot’ and it essentially is a self-signed root certificate – which opens a huge security hole for users.
For anyone aware of such a security risk, they could easily extract the certificate’s private key to then act as any HTTPS website connection so they could carry out a man-in-the-middle attack. So when a browser is used to connect to the HTTPS site, it would believe the certificate to be genuine and in most cases not throw up any warning.
Is my PC affected?
The PC’s affected are obviously Dell machines, and although there isn’t a particular model that is affected the most, any Dell XPS, Vostro, Precision, Inspiron and Optiplex machines that use the recent Dell Foundation Services software image are likely to be affected.
How to remove vulnerability
Dell have been quick to remediate the issue by providing an update for users to install. You can also manually stop the Dell Foundation Services from task manager, delete the relevant .dll file and then get rid of the two certificates from the certificate store.
Why did this happen?
The issue was probably down to a bit of complacency from a both developer and tester. Firstly, the certificate should never have been used and secondly, whoever’s job it was to test the software and identify such issues should have spotted this.
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