The Keylogger is a software or hardware tool that records text typed by users on their keywords.
- Allows the Keylogger user to know what other users may type into the computer, without the need for a physical presence.
- It establishes the options of “Hidden start-up” and “Hide from task list” in order for the program to be invisible to any users; therefore, all activity on that computer will be recorded in a file to be accessed by the system administrator, using a password.
- This tool is easy to acquire, install and use, ideal for home banking users.
- It’s a small program, with few system requirements.
- It allows sending files via email.
- Its attractiveness is centred in time-saving, prevention of damages and accidental data losses, frequently caused by internet usage, which the user may recover whatever the moment of inputting the information, days or even weeks before.
Currently, the tool is available both as software or hardware:
- The software tool is a program that may be installed in any computer; it intercepts and registers into a file all the information that is input using the keyboard.
- These programs are installed and designed to work in ‘invisible’ mode, and the computer user does not realise its existence, as it works in hidden mode; it can only be found using a specific administrator´s keyword in order to retrieve the information in a simple, clear and easy to read format; it also register all events taking place in that computer.
- In the case of hardware, the tool is presented as USB and PS2 devices that may be connected between the computer and the keyboard using USB ports; information on the typed texts is recorded in an internal memory. Therefore, all activity carried out in a specific device is now in the hands of the system administrator.
Malicious use of Keylogger
- As it is an easy to acquire, install and use tool, attractive to users of home banking, it becomes a target for ill-intentioned people, who don’t have to be expert technicians, to commit crimes and fraud, thereby surprising users of online banking.
- The keylogger registers anything typed in by the computer user, and sends it to an electronic email configured by its administrator, with passwords, card and account numbers, and other financial data which, in the hands of persons with bad intentions, turn the account holder into a fraud victim unknowingly.
- International experience shows that the rate of these crimes will grow with increasing numbers of home banking; undermining the security of a bank or of a credit card issuer is a challenge only expert hackers may overcome. Accessing passwords as they go through the net towards the bank’s computer is almost impossible, as they are encrypted. However, hacking into a home computer is easier for hackers with little computer education.
- According to experts, one of the most used methods of hacking is infiltrating computers with these software programs known as keyloggers
- This program can also reach your home computer through the internet, as an attachment to an email or hidden in some utilities (for example, DVD software) offered free on the web; these programs are known as Trojans, following the Trojan Horse story of hiding enemies inside.
How to be prepared
- Don´t carry out online banking transactions from unsafe computers or places, such as internet centres; if you do, make sure it is completely trustworthy.
- Install a firewall, on your frequently used computer, as it is the best way to avoid this control on everything that comes in or goes out of your computer.
- Don’t become a victim of crime. When you access the internet, remember that many of these spyware or spy programs are self-installing programs that come into your computer during the connection.
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