Do you know what goes on inside your pc/laptop? Are you aware you might be getting tracked by someone? All your information could be going out from your system and you might get a call the next day for ransom. All this is happening due to a Keylogger in your system. Not sure how it works? Let’s get on it.
What is Keylogger?
A Keylogger is a program designed to track your information through the keystrokes of your keyboard. The sole purpose of the program is to track every key you press since it started monitoring your keyboard. A Keylogger is capable of recording all the files including your emails, texts, or any other sensitive information you might enter through the keyboard.
These programs are usually created as a batch file and entered in your pc anonymously through spam links. More about this will be discussed later in the post.
How is it Dangerous?
Since everything on your computer most of these days is online, everything requires a password or code to log in. Now this can be very important as all your social media and bank transfers are entered through the keyboard and there are various types of keyloggers to collect different information.
Not just with the personal aspect, a whole organization can be affected by one keylogger in a single person’s computer. It can read all your texts and important details which might cause great damage to you and the reputation of your company.
Types of Keyloggers
There are multiple types of keyloggers that be transferred to your PC’s or laptops. Keyloggers can be transferred to your system through Software or Hardware. Let’s have a deeper look into what these are.
These are the most commonly used Keyloggers in the market right now. It compromises the system of people with less technical knowledge about spam or phishing websites that run online. These often enter your system through malicious or infected emails for the sole purpose of attacking your pc and set on monitoring your keystrokes. It’s further classified into multiple types
- Form-Based – These are specifically based on web forms while web browning or submitting the form. The Keylogger detects the submit button and before sending the information onto the site, it sends it to the log file first. This is used to obtain all the credit card details and login details of various sites you go through while browsing.
- Kernel-Based – This type of Keylogger obtains a deeper and root access on the kernel level to monitor your keyboard. In simple terms, it acts as a keyboard device driver and records all the information entered through the keyboard.
Since it goes so deep inside your system, this type of program is hard to create and cannot be tackled easily by anyone. It requires a person with the proper expertise to figure out what’s happening in your system.
- API-Based – These are most commonly used Keyloggers in the market as there are many API(Application Programing Interface) Based web apps available in the market and these programs capture all the keystrokes before it reaches in the app and saves it in the logs for the hacker to retrieve it later on.
Another type of Software Keylogger is which you get from social engineering. You know everything about the victim. What he does, shopping history, browning history, everything you know about him, and then you send the victim an email impersonating their favorite shopping site and offering them a coupon. The user will be compelled to click on the discount coupon and hence will register a Keylogger onto his system.
These are various USB device which gets installed as a batch file automatically when you plug it into the system. It’s fairly simple to use but you need to be present at the place to retrieve it later on as all the records are saved in the drive you plugged in. These have a huge disadvantage over the software programs as they can infect the system even if you’re a thousand miles away from it.
What are the Benefits
Being concerned about how your children use their systems, you can install a Keylogger to track what they do online and how they use their systems. You can easily install a basic program to do the needful. The Internet is a big place with a lot of good and bad things and you need to make sure your child is involved in the good ones.
Many organizations put Keyloggers into their employee’s system to ensure they’re not involved and any suspicious activity that might be a threat to the organization.
Feedback and Improvement
Many people aren’t aware of how Microsoft had already enabled Keylogger in the systems running on Windows 10 which seems to be disabled after complaints from the French Government told to stop collecting user data without their consent. This option wasn’t available to everyone while installing a copy of windows but it automatically turns on after installation.
It looks like its disabled for now but watch out for more updates about companies using keyloggers without user consent. Although Microsoft used this to improve the keyboard and user experience of people, it’s still not satisfactory to use it without the user consent.
Protection Against Keyloggers
These programs won’t be noticed so easily by people with non-technical knowledge. You can take the help of your tech-savvy friends if you think your system is infected. Other options to stay protected are listed below:
- Antivirus – Most of the available antivirus out there that are used by people cannot often detect such keyloggers as they get installed through a FUD Backdoor which helps in skipping the security check and get installed in your system. One of the known antiviruses that can protect your home system or business organization is MalwareBytes.
- Genuine Windows – As talked above about the Kernal-Based Keyloggers, they can infect your system through windows downloaded from unknown or phishing sites. Many sites offer cracked windows that can infect your system compromising your data in long term basis.
- Keyscrambler – One of the best solutions to browning online. There’s a premium version to it too but you can use the free version for 90% of the sites available online. There are many different sites it can help you with. All it does it encrypts your data you enter through the keyboard and don’t let it go in a normal format to the hackers. Hackers will have a very hard time decrypting the data they get from the details you submit.
Here’s a link to one of the best KeyScramblers available.
- Free Discounts – If you get any notification from any site you visit giving free discounts of gifts just by clicking on the link, that’s 100% scam and will surely infect you. There’s no chance anyone just gives out free stuff online. Refrain from clicking such links and be 100% secure of what you do.
- Public Network – Never connect to any unknown public network as Keyloggers can be transmitted through your device via MITM attacks very easily.
5. Task Manager – If you want to know that you’re being monitored or not, you can have a look at your task manager. You can only notice things out of the ordinary when you know your ways around the system. The common way to spot a Key logger is it runs in background copying some other file. So if you spot two sysmain files running in the task manager, there’s a high risk of you being monitored and all your keystroke data is vulnerable.