Some new computers come with software I don't need or want. It is not advertised as part of the product I am purchasing. Generally this is called Bloatware.


1.(n) Software that comes pre-installed on a computer. Bloatware generally comes on a PC made by a major manufacturer (i.e. HP, Dell, Toshiba). Most Bloatware is considered to be a useless piece of software that is intended for no other purpose than taking up hard drive space. Source

Does or can this preinstalled Bloatware create any security risks?


1 Answer 1


Any software is of course bound to have vulnerabilities; Nonetheless there have been a couple of high-profile cases in these last few years relating to bloatware or preinstalled utilities

Lenovo/Superfish: A Tool called Superfish Visual Search was shipped on Lenovo consumer laptops since late 2014. It contained a self-signed root certificate that made the machines vulnerable to MITM attacks.

HP/Conexant: In 2017 it was discovered that the audio drivers and tool on certain HP models contained a bug where all keystrokes would be logged to a file called MicTray.log. This most likely was a bug when the previous debugging mechanism via OutputDebugString() was changed and subsequently not removed

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