Due to the layers of complexity that it takes to run a modern day operating system it is hard for the average person to know everything that is going on when the computer is operating.
It is even hard for a professional to know all of the services and operations that are running.
This level of complexity is a hacker’s bread and butter.
They are able to use this problem to be able to hide their malware and other goodies onto our system.
The Keystroke Logger
One of the pieces of malware that really takes advantage of this fact is a keystroke logger.
It will sit there quietly and just absorb all of the information that is being fed into it without you knowing.
A keystroke logger is a program that reads every keyboard button that is pushed while the computer is in operation.
It then, at the end of a certain amount of time, calls home and reports to whoever created it.
It will send them everything that you typed while you were on the computer.
They will then shift through the data to see if there is anything that is valuable that they can use.
There are two types of keystroke loggers -
There are the software based versions and the hardware based versions.
The hardware type is an actual physical device that hooks onto the back of your keyboard.
That attack can only work if they have physical access to the machine and it is easy to detect.
All you really have to do is look at any new pieces that are on your keyboard.
Our main concern, when it comes to security purposes is the software version.
The software version is a lot harder to detect and can cause a lot more damage.
Detecting A Keystroke Logger
Luckily for us there are several ways to detect and destroy a keystroke logger.
The first thing that you want to do is to learn how to detect if there is a logger on your system, without the use of software.
This is hard but if you use your computer enough it is actually possible.
If someone has installed a keystroke logger on your system that is not well made then it will cause a slight lag when you type fast.
If this is happening constantly then you might a problem.
In most cases, if you want to detect a keystroke logger on your system, you would use the latest updated antivirus to run a scan on our system as this will quickly let you know if you have a problem.
If you are a computer user that uses their system for important data you have to be aware of slight changes in your system.
If your daily operation on your computer feels a bit different and you haven’t installed anything, that can be a sign that there is a problem.
Do not just dismiss it.
If you feel that there is a problem run a scan on the system to see if your feelings were justified.
Not all Keystroke Loggers Are Bad
I would like to finish off by pointing out that not all keystroke loggers are bad news.
In fact, you may even want one if -
- you want to monitor your kid’s activity on the net
- have concerns about your spouse
- need to check on your aged parents’ use of the internet, etc.