Yesterday, we told you how some reddit users had uncovered a certificate on some models of Dell computers called “eDellRoot.” That rogue certificate presented a major security problem as hackers could use it to create forged certificates, allowing them to do a wide range of things to targeted Dell computers that are automatically set to trust those certificates.
Late last night, Dell issued the following statement regarding the certificate:
Today we became aware that a certificate (eDellRoot), installed by our Dell Foundation Services application on our PCs, unintentionally introduced a security vulnerability. The certificate was implemented as part of a support tool and intended to make it faster and easier for our customers to service their system. Customer security and privacy is a top concern and priority for Dell; we deeply regret that this has happened and are taking steps to address it.
The certificate is not malware or adware. Rather, it was intended to provide the system service tag to Dell online support allowing us to quickly identify the computer model, making it easier and faster to service our customers. This certificate is not being used to collect personal customer information. It’s also important to note that the certificate will not reinstall itself once it is properly removed using the recommended Dell process.
We have posted instructions to permanently remove the certificate from your system here. We will also push a software update starting on November 24 that will check for the certificate, and if detected remove it. Commercial customers who reimaged their systems without Dell Foundation Services are not affected by this issue. Additionally, the certificate will be removed from all Dell systems moving forward.
Your trust is important to us and we are actively working to address this issue.
To summarize, the “eDellRoot” certificate apparently is for helping Dell support quickly identify your machine and not for malicious use. Dell is also working to help users easily remove the certificate through an update.