Detecting and Defeating Keyloggers

Detecting and Defeating Keyloggers

By Bob Rankin

Millions of passwords are stolen by keyloggers. What are they, how do they work and how to protect against them.–PC Pitstop

It’s a fact that many malware infections result in a vulnerability to keystroke logging, which can compromise your privacy and lead to identity theft. A recent news story tells how over TWO MILLION passwords were stolen by keyloggers. Learn more about keyloggers, how they work, and how to defend yourself from this growing threat…

Keyloggers: What they Are and How to Defend Yourself

A keylogger is a program that records everything that you type on a keyboard. All of your keystrokes are stored, in order, in a log file. Hence the name, “key logger.” The log file is intended to be read by a third party that is typically unknown, remote and malicious. Keyloggers do have legitimate uses, such as troubleshooting, training, analyzing employee productivity, and law enforcement surveillance. But keyloggers are most often used illegally to spy on people.

A recent report by Trustwave security researchers revealed that malware known as “Pony” was responsible for the theft of over two million usernames and passwords, many of them for popular sites such as Facebook, Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter and Yahoo.

Keyloggers are especially useful for stealing usernames and passwords, bank and credit card numbers, and other sorts of personal information that people type every day. Even data transmitted over an encrypted Internet connection is vulnerable to keylogging, because a keylogger records keystrokes before they are encrypted for transmission. See my related article Should I Install a Keylogger? if you’re thinking about using one to spy on someone, as there are some serious ethical and legal concerns.

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Excerpt shared with permission from Bob Rankin.

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