March 23rd, 2017
Keyloggers are a form of spyware that tracks a person's keystrokes and then sends the information to someone who can translate and exploit it. This can copy the keystrokes on e-mail, instant messenger, and any other Internet activity. The person collecting the information can get information such as credit card numbers, user names and passwords, and more. These handy little devices have been around for sometime but the increase of spyware has brought them out to the front and center. It is easy to infect a computer with this type of software and very common. A user can easily go to the wrong web site and get infected or someone can manually place this on the computer, as well. There are three different types of keyloggers that could be possibly plaguing you and your computer.
Hardware keyloggers are small inline devices placed in between the keyboard and computer. They are so extremely small that they are very hard to detect and can unnoticed for long time periods. This type of device requires that the person placing the device be in physical contact with the computer. A family member to see what is being done on the computer when not supervised usually places this type of keylogger in a home. They are capable of capturing passwords, user names, and other personal information. This includes conversations via instant messenger and e-mails. The software keylogger uses a hooking device to monitor all keystrokes. It uses the Window function of SetWindowHookEx(). This type of program is installed via corrupted files on the net or through other spyware techniques. Once downloaded into the system they initiate the hook function and a DLL function for logging. This software can capture almost every thing one does on the computer. The third type of keylogger is the kernel/driver one. This type gets its information directly from the keyboard. It replaces the main software for tracking keystrokes. It can be so cleverly programmed that it is almost completely undetectable. It is executed on boot and starts before any user-level programs start up. It cannot get auto-complete passwords like the other types can.
Even though there are so many types of companies making keyloggers out there today, they all are pretty much alike. Most of these are well hidden in many trojans circulating the Internet. These are the common hook type keyloggers. There are several features that one can use to spy on any unsuspecting user. There is the infamous stealth mode that has no icon to see that it is working. This keylogger is virtually hidden from the person being spied on. There is also remote installation. This attaches the keylogger feature to other programs such as e-mail and instant messenger. It can be sent via e-mail to be installed on another computer. This feature is used to get the conversations and information between more than one person. The last feature that most have is the smart rename. This allows all the keylogger and registry files to be renamed. This type of spyware can be hard to detect. Most anti-virus software may not see this device.
There are some ways to avoid accidentally downloading a keylogger program or avoid being captured on one. Well if the program figures out keyboard click it would make sense to use a virtual keyboard for private use. This would be used for passwords and other secure transfers of information. This is a keyboard on the monitor that one would use the mouse to type with. No clicks will be detected and transferred to remote computer. This will not be practical for all applications because the slow typing method. It is mostly used to put in passwords, credit card numbers, and other private applications. Be aware that some keyloggers can also track mouse clicks as well so the virtual keyboard is not useful. You would want to make sure that your virtual keyboard has a feature that allows you to hover over the letter you want instead of clicking on it. The best way to make sure you are keylogger free is manually check your machine first. If there seems to be nothing physically on the machine itself use an anti-spyware program to detect the corrupt software