Keystroke Logging

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There are many threats in the online world, and keystroke logging represents one of the more dangerous. It appeared a while back as a phenomenon, and it has been rising in appearances as of lately. Another popular name for programs that do keystroke logging, is keylogger.

Short Description

In general, this type of program does exactly what its name implies. It logs keystrokes, or more precisely – it monitors the input on your keyboard and records it, ready to be sent off to a remote location. This is all done in the background so you cannot simply detect it as a process. Naturally, the majority of such programs are used by hackers with the intent of scamming people. They keep track of passwords and afterwards send them off to remote locations, where they can be used to access bank accounts, or other sensitive data of a similar type. Still, there are a lot of legitimate uses for such software as well. A lot of companies for instance would install keystroke logging software, which will help them monitor their employees. That way they regulate network usage within the company as best as possible. This type of practice is highly disputed however and is not considered overly ethical.

Software Key Logging

There are generally two types of keylogger – hardware and software. Notable examples of software keyloggers are programs, which operate in hypervisor mode. They remain right beneath the OS of the victim, and are considered a separate Virtual Machine. These threats are almost completely undetectable and this is why many companies have tried developing special antivirus software especially for them. Another example is the form grabbing keystroke logging. This is the complete opposite – it stays on the surface all the time and it grabs information entered in a variety of web forms.
Keystroke Logging 2

Hardware Key Logging

When it comes to hardware keystroke logging, there are many good examples as well. For instance, there is firmware-based and keyboard hardware-based logging. They both rely on the mechanical input that the victim commits to on their keyboard, and they keep tracking information thanks to that. On the other hand, there are methods like acoustic-based logging. It relies on identifying the slightly different sound, which each key being pressed makes. This is highly sophisticated hardware keystroke logging, which is very hard to complete. Still, as hard as it is to complete, it is harder to detect and this is why many parties prefer to use it for their goals.

Protecting Yourself

There are many ways to protect from keystroke logging software. The first and most common method is to use frequent scans from an antispyware solution. This does not work all the time though and for this reason some manual preventive measures can be taken into account. This can include writing with an on-screen keyboard for instance, because keyloggers only detect manual input on a physical device. Apart from that it is useful for companies to do frequent network monitoring, in which the payload to the systems is observed. There are many dangers, which come from keystroke logging software and for this reason aspiring company owners will need to be constantly vigilant.

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