A Bit Late, But Lenovo CTO Admits The Company Screwed Up

from the finally dept

We've had a bunch of posts today (and yesterday) about the "Superfish" debacle, with a few of them focusing on Lenovo failing to recognize what a problem it was -- first denying any serious security problem, and then calling it "theoretical." It appears that Lenovo has now realized it totally screwed up and is finally saying so. Speaking to Re/code, CTO Peter Hortensius has changed his tune from the "theoretical" problem he discussed earlier:
“We messed up,” CTO Peter Hortensius told Re/code. The company now confirms that the way Superfish operates could leave machines vulnerable to a “man-in-the-middle,” or MITM, attack, in which an attacker mimics both sides of a conversation to actively eavesdrop on each one.

[....]

The company has an engineering review that made sure the tool itself didn’t store customer information and had a mechanism for users to opt out, but Lenovo missed that the way the software behaved could create a situation that left machines vulnerable to an attack.

“We should have known going in that that was the case,” Hortensius said. “We just flat-out missed it on this one, and did not appreciate the problem it was going to create.”
He later admits that the company "deserves" to take a beating for missing that. The company has also promised to publicly announce a plan for how it will make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen again.

While we called the company out for its initial terrible reaction, at least the company now seems to recognize the problems it caused and is owning up to it. It should have happened faster, but at least it's happening. Hopefully, the company is better off for it.

Of course, the same can't be said for Superfish, who insisted yesterday that Lenovo would show that there was no security risk at all, and still seems to be standing by that ridiculously wrong statement.

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  1. icon
    DB (profile), 21 Feb 2015 @ 10:48pm

    The statement is exactly the one you would see if control of the situation was moved from marketing ("we are certain there is no risk") to legal ("we didn't know anything").

    Did they simply miss the implications of snooping-based advertising? Especially one that can insert their only advertisements? That doesn't seem credible.

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