Pritzker Levine LLP Files Spyware Class Action on Behalf of Lenovo Notebook Computer Purchasers

February 23, 2015 (Oakland, CA) – Pritzker Levine LLP announced today that it has filed a class action lawsuit against computer manufacturer Lenovo and software developer Superfish on behalf of persons and entities in the United States who purchased or otherwise acquired a Lenovo notebook computer on which Superfish’s Visual Discovery spyware program was preinstalled.

The case is pending in federal court in San Jose, California, and was brought by Sterling International Consulting Group, a business that purchased a Lenovo notebook computer on which the Superfish spyware program had been preinstalled by Lenovo and Superfish.

The complaint alleges that beginning in August or September 2014, if not earlier, Lenovo began installing the Superfish program on many of its Windows-based notebook computer models marketed and sold to consumers.  The installation and operation of the Superfish program was hidden from users, and was not detectible by computer security and antivirus programs.  According to a recent New York Times article, the Superfish program poses a high-level security and privacy concern because the “software could track customers’ every online move, intercept secure web sessions and render their computers vulnerable to hackers.”

The complaint alleges that Lenovo never disclosed to consumers that their Lenovo notebooks contained the Superfish program, and that Lenovo took affirmative steps to hide the program from consumers, because it is spyware and creates serious security issues for anyone using a computer on which the program has been installed.  When operational, the Superfish program would easily allow Lenovo, Superfish, or anyone else on the same wireless network to hijack the user’s web browser and, without the user’s knowledge, collect whatever information is being communicated, including passwords, bank account information and other personal financial information.

Lenovo only recently admitted that the Superfish program creates a high security risk for any notebook computer on which it is preinstalled.  The U.S. government has issued an alert advising consumers to remove the program immediately. Computer security experts have advised consumers to wipe or erase the computer hard drive on which the Superfish program was installed.   According to the complaint, however, Lenovo has done nothing to aid consumers or alleviate security concerns other than to post instructions on its website how to remove the program.

Lenovo notebook computer purchasers seeking more information about the case can contact Jonathan K. Levine of Pritzker Levine at jkl@pritzkerlevine.com or by phone at (415) 805-8533.

About Pritzker Levine

Pritzker Levine LLP is national litigation firm with offices in California and New York.  The firm serves corporate clients, public entities, pension funds, small businesses, nonprofit groups, labor unions, whistleblowers and injured persons in cases involving antitrust violations, securities fraud and derivative claims, commercial disputes, consumer protection, financial wrongdoing, employment law and personal injuries.