What is Keylogger ?
keyloggers are programs that come with spyware tools to spy on your keyboard. It records whatever you type and send this recorded data to its creator.
Why keyloggers are a threat
Keyloggers are a serious threat to users and the users’ data, as they track the keystrokes to intercept passwords and other sensitive information typed in through the keyboard. This gives hackers the benefit of access to PIN codes and account numbers, passwords to online shopping sites, email ids, email logins, and other confidential information, etc.
When the hackers get access to the users’ private and sensitive information, they can take advantage of the extracted data to perform online money transaction the user’s account. Keyloggers can sometimes be used as a spying tool to compromise business and state-owned company’s data.
How keyloggers spread
- Keyloggers can be installed when a user clicks on a link or opens an attachment/file from a phishing mail
- Keyloggers can be installed through webpage script. This is done by exploiting a vulnerable browser and the keylogger is launched when the user visits the malicious website.
- a keylogger can be installed when a user opens a file attached to an email
- a keylogger can be installed via a web page script which exploits a browser vulnerability. The program will automatically be launched when a user visits an infected site
- a keylogger can exploit an infected system and is sometimes capable to download and install other malware to the system.
Detection, prevention and removal
As there are various types of keyloggers that use different techniques, no single detection or removal method is considered the most effective.
Depending on the technique the antispyware application uses, it can possibly locate and disable keylogger software with lower privileges than it has. Use of a network monitor will ensure the user is notified each time an application tries to make a network connection, giving a security team the opportunity to stop any possible keylogger activity. Application whitelisting can also be used to allow only documented, authorized programs to run on a system.
While visual inspection can be used to identify hardware keyloggers, it is impractical and time-consuming to implement on a large scale. System cages that prevent access to or tampering with USB and PS/2 ports can be added to the user’s desktop setup. Extra precautions include using a security token as part of two-factor authentication (2FA) to ensure an attacker cannot use a stolen password alone to log in to a user’s account, or using an onscreen keyboard and voice-to-text software to circumvent using a physical keyboard.