In a statement released on Monday, Dell acknowledged the vulnerability and linked to a guide on permanently removing the software that caused it.
"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."
It stressed that the certificate was not itself "malware or adware", nor was it "being used to collect personal customer information".
It said: "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."
The firm thanked users who brought it to their attention and invited others to flag up any further security issues.
Certificates are used by computer operating systems and internet browsers to identify websites as safe. However, security experts said the software installed by Dell had two flaws: firstly, the software would allow traffic to be intercepted, potentially exposing sensitive information; secondly, the key could be used to make a user's computer misidentify unsafe connections as safe.
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