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The Advancement of the Keylogger

A keylogger is a program that runs in your computer’s background secretly recording all your keystrokes. Once your keystrokes are logged, they are hidden away for later retrieval by the attacker. The attacker then carefully reviews the information in hopes of finding passwords or other information that would prove useful to them. For example, a keylogger can easily obtain confidential emails and reveal them to any interested outside party willing to pay for the information.

can be either software or hardware based. Software-based keyloggers are easy to distribute and infect, but at the same time are more easily detectable. Hardware-based keyloggers are more complex and harder to detect. For all that you know, your keyboard could have a keylogger chip attached and anything being typed is recorded into a flash memory sitting inside your keyboard. Keyloggers have become one of the most powerful applications used for gathering information in a world where encrypted traffic is becoming more and more common.

As keyloggers become more advanced, the ability to detect them becomes more difficult. They can violate a user’s for months, or even years, without being noticed. During that time frame, a keylogger can collect a lot of information about the user it is monitoring. A keylogger can potential obtain not only passwords and log-in names, but credit card numbers, bank account details, contacts, interests, web browsing habits, and much more. All this collected information can be used to steal user’s personal documents, money, or even their .

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A keylogger might be as simple as an .exe and a .dll that is placed in a computer and activated upon boot up via an entry in the registry. Or, the more sophisticated keyloggers, such as the Perfect Keylogger or ProBot Activity Monitor have developed a full line of nasty abilities including:

” Undetectable in the process list and invisible in operation
” A kernel keylogger driver that captures keystrokes even when the user is logged off
” A remote deployment wizard
” The ability to create text snapshots of active applications
” The ability to capture http post data (including log-ins/passwords)
” The ability to timestamp record workstation usage
” HTML and text log file export
” Automatic e-mail log file delivery

All keyloggers are not used for illegal purposes. A variety of other uses have surfaced. Keyloggers have been used to monitor web sites visited as a means of parental control over children. They have been actively used to prevent child pornography and avoid children coming in contact with dangerous elements on the web. Additionally, in December, 2001, a federal court ruled that the FBI did not need a special wiretap order to place a keystroke logging device on a suspect’s computer. The judge allowed the FBI to keep details of its key logging device secret (citing national security concerns). The defendant in the case, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., indicted for gambling and loan-sharking, used encryption to protect a file on his computer. The FBI used the keystroke logging device to capture Scarfo’s password and gain access to the needed file.

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Other Posts From Around The Web:

The Ins and Out of Keyloggers – Keep your computer fighting fit.

Software Keyloggers – Software keyloggers are programs that most often run in the background of a computer recording keystrokes that are pressed, and saving the recorded data to a file on the hard drive. Software based keyloggers and be broken into two …

Outpost 2008 fights spyware and keyloggers effectively – The table below was not published by Neil or by PC Magazine, but we complied it using the points given to the listed products in Neil’s reviews. TS stands for ‘total score’, SW – for ‘spyware’, KL – for ‘keyloggers’. …

Block Keyloggers from Stealing Your Passwords – Anti Keylogger Shield is a program that claims to protect you from keyloggers by disabling the various methods commonly used to record your keystrokes. Anti Keylogger Shield is Windows software that runs silently from your system tray. …

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  1. 7 Comment(s)

  2. By John Kolbert on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    My problem with KeyLoggers is that it’s hard to install one even on your own computer. I had use for one some time ago and when I tried to install it Norton would block it as a virus. After disabling Norton and trying again, it worked until I scanned my computer with Norton, in which case it quarantined it. Maybe it was the program I was using, but it was a mess to be sure.

  3. By Bill Wardell on May 14, 2008 | Reply

    Hey John,

    I would agree with you on most programs, but let me make a suggestion for you to try the free download and superior product called: PC Pandora use this link and you will receive a $10 dollar discount…

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    Your Online Security Authority

    Bill Wardell

    Bill Wardells last blog post..GASP – Games Adolescents Shouldn’t Play

  4. By Somnilocus on May 17, 2008 | Reply

    I don’t know, I almost feel like this is an invasion of privacy.. even for children, yes- they deserve their privacy too. 😛 I mean, would you listen in to their phone calls? Secretly videotape them? I think the best way to protect kids is to talk to them, be active in what they do (a past suggestion on this blog was to create your own profile and such), and restrict access to certain sites. Guess it’s a hard topic to deal with.

  5. By Dartz on May 20, 2008 | Reply

    My boss uses a keylogger on each computer, every word typed is sent to his computer, and he keeps an eye out for people looking at porn, divulging company secrets etc etc etc.

    He knows a lot of embarrassing secrets, but one agreement we sign when being hired allows us to, on demand and without question, get a copy of the data logged.

  6. By dreamr802 on May 23, 2008 | Reply

    I can understand doing that when the people know that the program is being run like at work or something but to have it on your personal computer? I don’t think that’s right especially with kids. You should be watching your kids not “spying” on them.

  7. By descorpio on May 24, 2008 | Reply

    People must prevent themselves from being attacked by the keyloggers.The best example is that one of my friend has installed the keylogger in a system in his college laboratory.He used the tracked information to login various email accounts and read the contents.In this case, he did not do any damage.But what would have happened if it goes to the wrong pair of hands? So i think the installation of such softwares are very essential.

  8. By Online Security on Jun 17, 2008 | Reply

    I feel like this program is an invasion of privacy. People tend to use the interenet as an outlet and this invades that.

    Online Securitys last blog post..Journal Entry: You Have My Permission to… NOT… “Click Here”

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