A keylogger is a kind of surveillance software that secretly records every keystroke made on a specific computer. It can capture the letters, numbers, symbols, and commands typed on the keyboard. Some keylogger programs can also run on smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone and Android devices. Keyloggers are often used by cybercriminals to spy on people's online activities and steal their personal and financial information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, and bank account details. Keyloggers can also pose a threat to businesses by compromising their confidential and sensitive data.
Keyloggers can be installed on a computer in various ways. Some of the common methods are:
Downloading malicious software from the internet, such as viruses, trojans, or worms.
Opening infected email attachments or clicking on malicious links.
Using removable media devices, such as USB drives, CDs, or DVDs.
Physically accessing the computer and installing the keylogger software or hardware.
Keyloggers can be detected and removed by using antivirus or anti-spyware software. However, some keyloggers may evade detection by hiding in the system files or registry. Therefore, it is important to keep the security software updated and perform regular scans. It is also advisable to use strong passwords and change them frequently, avoid opening suspicious emails or visiting untrusted websites, and encrypt sensitive data before sending or storing it.
Keyloggers can have various applications and purposes. Some of the legitimate uses of keyloggers are:
Monitoring the computer activity of children or employees.
Tracking the performance and productivity of workers or students.
Recovering lost or forgotten passwords or data.
Debugging or testing software or hardware.
However, keyloggers can also be used for malicious or illegal purposes, such as:
Stealing personal or financial information from individuals or organizations.
Hacking into online accounts or systems.
Blackmailing or extorting victims with their private or sensitive data.
Spreading malware or spam to other computers or networks.
Keyloggers are one of the most common and dangerous types of malware. They differ from other types of malware in the following ways:
Keyloggers can capture every keystroke made on the keyboard, while other malware may only target specific information or actions.
Keyloggers can operate in stealth mode and avoid detection by security software, while other malware may be more visible or noticeable.
Keyloggers can collect a large amount of data over time, while other malware may only execute a single or limited attack.
Keyloggers can affect both online and offline activities, while other malware may only affect internet-connected devices or networks.
Keylogger incidents have occurred in various contexts and scenarios. Some of the notable examples are:
In 2005, a hacker named Jeanson James Ancheta used keyloggers to infect thousands of computers and create a botnet that he rented out to spammers and hackers. He was arrested and sentenced to 57 months in prison.
In 2009, a keylogger was found on a computer in a public library in Northbrook, Illinois. The keylogger was used to steal personal information from library patrons who used the computer. The identity and motive of the perpetrator are unknown.
In 2012, a keylogger was discovered on a laptop belonging to a NASA employee. The keylogger was used to access sensitive information related to the Curiosity rover mission to Mars. The source and purpose of the keylogger are unclear.
In 2016, a keylogger was detected on a computer in a hotel in Switzerland. The keylogger was used to steal credit card information from hotel guests who used the computer. The hotel was targeted by a cybercriminal group known as DarkHotel. 061ffe29dd