Analysis by: Francis Xavier Antazo


Win32/Adware.SuperFish.A (NOD32), Adware.SuperFish (Symantec)




  • Threat Type: Adware

  • Destructiveness: No

  • Encrypted: Yes

  • In the wild: Yes


Infection Channel: Dropped by other malware

This adware comes pre-installed in certain Lenovo laptop models sold between September and December 2014. It may help facilitate man-in-the-middle attacks.

To get a one-glance comprehensive view of the behavior of this Adware, refer to the Threat Diagram shown below.

This adware arrives as a component bundled with malware/grayware packages.


File Size: 1,349,936 bytes
File Type: EXE
Memory Resident: Yes
Initial Samples Received Date: 20 Feb 2015
Payload: Installs its self-signed root certificate

Arrival Details

This adware arrives as a component bundled with malware/grayware packages.


This adware drops the following files:

  • %User Temp%\VisualDiscoveryr.log

(Note: %User Temp% is the user's temporary folder, where it usually is C:\Documents and Settings\{user name}\Local Settings\Temp on Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP (32- and 64-bit); C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Local\Temp on Windows Vista (32- and 64-bit), Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit), Windows 8 (32- and 64-bit), Windows 8.1 (32- and 64-bit), Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2012.)

Information Theft

This adware gathers the following data:

  • Path of malware execution
  • PID of malware process
  • OS Version


It installs its own self-signed root certificate making systems vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.

It intercepts HTTP(S) traffic using its own self-signed root certificate.


Minimum Scan Engine: 9.700

Step 1

Before doing any scans, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 users must disable System Restore to allow full scanning of their computers.

Step 2

Close all opened browser windows

Step 3

Remove ADW_SUPERFISH by using its own Uninstall option

[ Learn More ]
To uninstall the grayware process

Step 4

Search and delete these files

[ Learn More ]
There may be some files that are hidden. Please make sure you check the Search Hidden Files and Folders checkbox in the "More advanced options" option to include all hidden files and folders in the search result.
  • %User Temp%\VisualDiscoveryr.log

Step 5

Scan your computer with your Trend Micro product to delete files detected as ADW_SUPERFISH. If the detected files have already been cleaned, deleted, or quarantined by your Trend Micro product, no further step is required. You may opt to simply delete the quarantined files. Please check this Knowledge Base page for more information.


To manually remove the certificate refer to the following instructions:

For Windows 8:

  1. Search for "Manage Computer Certificates".
  2. If a Windows Prompt to allow changes appears ("Do you want to allow this program to make changes to this computer?"), press "Yes".
  3. The Certificate Manager window should appear. It should be divided into Left and Right Panels.
  4. On the Certificate Manager application, select "Trusted Root Certificate Authorities" located at the Left Panel.
  5. Click on the sub-selection "Certificates"
  6. On the Right Panel, find the entry "Superfish, Inc."
  7. Right click on "Superfish Inc." and select "Delete".
  8. Should a window appear to confirm the deleting of the certificate ("Deleting system root certificate..."), Press Yes.
  9. is should delete the selected certificate.
  10. Restart device.

For other versions:

For Internet Explorer 5, 5.01, and 5.5

  1. At the "Internet Explorer" toolbar -> Tools -> Internet Options
  2. At the Internet Options window -> Contents -> Certificates -> Trusted Root Certification Authorities
  3. Click the certificate "Superflash, Inc." -> Export -> Yes
  4. Follow the appearing instructions
  5. Select Trusted Root Certification Authorities
  6. Click the certificate "Superflash, Inc." -> Remove -> Yes
  7. Click Close -> OK
  8. Restart "Internet Explorer"

For Internet Explorer 4.x

  1. At the "Internet Explorer" toolbar -> View -> Option -> Content ->Authorities
  2. Click the certificate "Superfish, Inc." -> Delete -> Yes
  3. Click Close -> OK
  4. Restart "Internet Explorer".

For Firefox or Thunderbird browsers, please follow the steps below.

  1. On the Firefox/Thunderbird toolbar, select Tools > Options > Advanced > Certificates.
  2. Click View Certificates.
  3. Select Authorities tab, then scroll to SuperFish, Inc..
  4. Select the row that contains both SuperFish, Inc. and Software Security Device.
  5. Press Delete or Distrust, then OK.
  6. Restart your system.

Lenovo released a tool that automatically uninstalls Superfish. Please refer to the following Lenovo support webpage for instructions:

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