KeyLogger is a type of monitoring software designed to record keystrokes made by a user. It is a surveillance technology used to monitor and record each keystroke typed on a specific computer’s keyboard. Keystroke means the pressing of the key. While the programs themselves are legal, with many of them being designed to allow employers to oversee the use of their computers. Nevertheless, keyloggers can be a serious threat to users, as they can be used to intercept passwords and other confidential information entered via the keyboard. As a result, criminals can get the PIN codes and account numbers for your financial accounts, passwords to your email in social networking accounts and then use this information to steal your money, steal your identity and possibly extort information and money from your friends and family.
Types of KeyLoggers
A Software-Based Keylogger does not require physical access to the user’s computer for installation. It can be downloaded by someone who wants to monitor activity on a particular computer.
B Hardware-Based Keylogger is a small device that serves as a connector between the keyboard and the computer. Usually hardware keylogger devices can be hidden or injected into the target machine in a way that it is hard or practically impossible to detect the physical existence of the keylogger. Hardware Keyloggers are usually marked as hardware peripherals that share the common hardware interfaces like PS/2 or USB.
How KeyLogger Works
Keylogger collects information from a computer by recording the keystrokes. The amount of information collected by a keylogger depends upon the type of keylogger.
- Keylogger is a small program which runs in the background without the knowledge of the owner and saves all the keystrokes by the keyboard.
- Keyloggers collects information and sends it back to a third party or to a certain server.
- There is a “master key” which is used to access the keylogger, which is a combination of several keystrokes.
- When you enter www.facebook.com in your browser, it’s obvious that you will enter email id and password after that. After that keylogger will send that keystroke to a predefined address
Uses of KeyLogger:-
Legal uses of keylogger
- Security:- Keylogger can be used by the employer to check the activities of his employees in their computers.
- Parental Control:- Keylogger is a great way to track the activity of your children without getting caught.
Illegal uses of keylogger used by Hackers:-
- Intercept password
- Intercept confidential information
- Extort information and money
- Getting PIN codes and account numbers of your financial accounts.
KeyLoggers in Mobile Devices:-
You can get Keyloggers on mobile devices. To get it search for smartphone keyloggers to see how many are available for download.
How to protect yourself from KeyLogger
- Password:- Use one time password or two step authentication.
- Use Caution by using Attachments:- Files received via email, P2P networks, chat, social networks, or even text messages can be embedded with malicious software that has a Keylogger.
- Use Proactive Protection:- Use a system with proactive protection to detect such malicious programs.
- Use an alternative keyboard layout:- Most of the keylogger software available is based on the traditional QWERTY layout so if you use a keyboard layout such as DVORAK, the captured keystrokes does not make sense unless converted.
- Use Virtual Keyboard:- Use virtual keyboard to reduce the threat of keylogger.
- Use a security solution:- Protect your device by using antivirus, firewall, as well as identity and data protection.
Conclusion:- As we discussed before, Keyloggers can be used for legal or illegal purposes. It can record keystrokes and provides all the confidential information to a different server. It is clear that without any additional protection, keyloggers provide a significant threat to users. In this way, a user needs proper protection or countermeasures to reduce the threat of keyloggers.