What is a keylogger?

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A keylogger is a hardware or software device that captures typed input to your figurer or mobile phone / tablet. A form of spyware, keylogger malware is often used along with automatic screenshot tools to steal cyberbanking and other login details and ship them back to a malicious histrion, unremarkably via a file upload.

Keyloggers are likewise sold equally security software for employ in both habitation and enterprise environments. In the UK information technology is illegal to install a keylogger on someone else’due south computer or phone without permission.

In the workplace, including Bring-Your-Own-Device environments, businesses must inform staff and go their written agreement if keylogging will be carried out, have a privacy policy and be able to give employees all information about themselves and their activities within 40 days.

It is illegal for someone to use a keylogger to spy on your private life. While abode users are immune to install keyloggers on computers or smartphones they ain, using them to monitor without consent or steal data from family members, housemates or friends is usually illegal under the Figurer Misuse Act (1990) and may be classed every bit stalking under the Protection from Harassment Act (1997).

Parents who wish to use keyloggers to spy on their children’s online activities should inform them that they will be doing then. Children accept a right to keep their personal electronic communications private under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) article 16, and the Homo Rights Act (1998).

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Hardware keyloggers

Hardware keyloggers are less commonly used for generalised fraud, but may be used in targeted attacks. That includes executive fraud and industrial espionage, only also more than personal situations such every bit stalking and domestic abuse.

They’re most often USB dongles that sit betwixt the keyboard and figurer and log data to an SD carte or share it with an attacker via Wi-Fi. Versions intended for subterfuge often have the course of a USB extension cablevision to make them less obvious. Entire keyboards have also been designed with integrated keyloggers, although these are primarily used in security inquiry and quality assurance scenarios;

Threat vectors

The threat vector for keylogger fraud is much the same as any other kind of malware:

  • Information technology can be downloaded and run on your computer via a contaminated website
  • Information technology tin be deliberately introduced to your device past a malicious thespian with concrete access
  • It can be sent to you as an email attachment with a message that deceives you into running it
  • Information technology tin can brand its mode into your PC every bit the payload of malware on a contaminated network or concrete media

Prevention and detection

To protect against keyloggers, keep your antivirus software up-to-date, and so that its real-time protection modules can accurately observe any keylogger malware as shortly as it hits your system. If you’re using Windows’ congenital-in antivirus, Microsoft Defender, make certain that your Windows updates are also current.

Many antivirus suites include sandboxed environments for online cyberbanking that are designed to lock our software keyloggers and screenshotters. These include Kaspersky Net Security and Eset Internet Security.

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Keylogging software can crusade unexpected slowdowns and odd cursor behaviour, peculiarly on lower-spec devices, but don’t wait to be able to spot it. Run an on-demand scan if you lot see whatever suspicious behaviour.

Your usual antivirus suite volition include capable on-demand scanning. For on-demand scanning, just in case you want to cheque confronting an boosted malware signature database, Malwarebytes provides a capable complimentary product for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. Unusually, Malwarebytes will cheerfully run alongside either Windows Defender or whatsoever third-party real-time malware protection suite you accept installed.

Linux users can install ClamAV and the helpful ClamTk graphical front end from their distribution’due south repository or from source to.

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