People are highly concerned about their privacy and safety of their personal data on Windows 10. There were a lot of accusations on Microsoft, saying that the company is ‘stealing’ users’ personal info, but it looks like Microsoft isn’t the only threat (if we can call that a threat, because Microsoft assures people that it doesn’t collect any personal data) to the privacy in Windows 10.
Reportedly, Dell is now shipping new Windows 10 PCs with its own root certificate and private key, which could spy on users. Namely, with this specific root certificate, anyone can install web ads on a Dell PC, or read Internet traffic from it, via man-in-the-middle attacks. Also, the XPS maker can install any spyware or bloatware (read this article to learn how to get rid of the unwanted software on your computer), no matter how many times you reset your system.
This issue was detected by Joe Nord, and there’s a huge thread on Reddit with all the details, and people’s opinions about Dell‘s move. If you recently bought a Dell PC, you should check if your PC is affected by this ‘parasite.’ To do that, follow these steps:
Go to Start -> type “certmgr.msc” -> (accept on UAC prompt) -> Trusted Root Certification Authorities -> Certificates and check if you have an entry with the name “eDellRoot”.
- Go to Search, type certmgr.msc, and press Enter
- Go to Trusted Root Certification Authorities, and then to Certificates
- Check if you have an entry with the name of eDellRoot
If you have this entry in your Certificates, you should be very careful about what websites you visit.
This isn’t the first time some major PC manufacturer includes its own tool for spaying on users. As a reminder, Lenovo was the part of a controversy when it was discovered that its computers include a special software, called Superfish, whose purpose was to collect people’s search data and display targeted web ads to them. So as you can see, your privacy isn’t threatened by Microsoft only, as there’s a lot more to care about.
Shortly after hearing about this, a lot of users complained to Dell, but the company is yet to respond to the issue. But we should expect various security experts to be all over this one today, but also the crackers and hackers, who could take the advantage of the situation. So, be extremely careful with using your new Dell laptop or PC, because you’re not one hundred percent safe, at least until Dell gives an official word about this.
So, now’s probably not a good time to tell everyone about your new Dell XPS, or some other device manufactured by this company. If we find anything more regarding to this ‘controversy,’ or Dell gives us an answer about this feature on their devices, we will update the article with the latest news. Until then, stay safe!