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    What You Need To Know About Keyloggers


    Keyloggers, also known as keystroke loggers, represent one of the oldest forms of threats in cyberspace.

    These malicious programs record all the information that is typed into a website or a running application, and sends it to the hacker for unauthorized use.

    Below is the complete guide on:

    • What they do
    • How they enter a computer
    • How to detect them
    • How to get rid of them

    Keylogger Definition

    This is an insidious type of spyware that can easily record every keystroke that a user enters on their device. 

    This can pose a very serious threat to the targets. 

    Hackers can gain access to PIN codes and account numbers of financial accounts, or can even get passwords to an email account or any social networking account. .

    This tool can potentially go so far as to compromise your identity.

    A keystroke logger is not always illegal to install and use. In fact, this is a common tool used even in corporations. 

    IT departments use this tool to troubleshoot all technical problems on systems and networks, as a means of recording and assessing a malfunction. 

    This tool is also used to monitor employees or used by parents who want to keep an eye on their children’s online activities.

    How Do They Work?

    Below are some of the ways keystroke loggers can infect a system:

    -  It can be installed when a user clicks on any link or opens an attachment. 
    -  It can be installed through a webpage script that exploits a browser vulnerability. 
    -  When a user visits an infected site, the program could automatically be installed. 
    -  A hacker could use a Trojan virus as their delivery tool to install this malware into the system. 

    There are two more methods that hackers use that are carried out with the involvement of the users themselves. 

    • The first method is phishing, where an email is fabricated to appear from a legitimate company in order to obtain passwords or credit card numbers.
    • The second method is research done by the hacker to find a weakness in the user's online habits. 

    It is important to note that this malware can actually exploit an already infected system to download and install other malware onto the system. 

    How To Detect And Remove Keyloggers

    There are many ways to detect a keystroke logger.

    The easiest way is to look at your Task Manager to check on any processes that are running.

    Another way is to check under the Startup Tab. 

    This malware is set up to run consistently as it needs to be started up with the operating system. 

    Therefore, looking at running processes can be a telltale sign of this malicious infiltration. 

    Antivirus And Anti-Rootkit Protectors

    When attacking an operating system, a keylogger can open the door for other forms of malware.

    In fact, discovering this threat can be a sign of a wider attack on a system.

    Installing up-to-date antivirus and anti-rootkit defenses will help to remove all the known malware. 

    • Anti-rootkits perform deep scans of your device to detect suspicious behavior. This is the same as antivirus activity. Both will notify you of anomalies and remove them. Once the threat is eliminated, the system will perform another scan to verify it.
    • Make sure to keep your antivirus and anti-rootkit protectors up-to-date. This will enhance the chances of detection and removal of all types of malware.
    • If your antivirus does not offer keylogger protection, it is a good idea to download a standalone anti-rootkit tool to protect your data and privacy.

    Anti-Keylogger Software

    Installing anti-keylogger software helps to encrypt keystrokes to scan and remove all known loggers, and flags any unusual key-logging malware on your system.

    It blocks root access to any unauthorized application and is also beneficial for blacklisting known spyware apps. 

    Other Measures

    Below are the most effective steps that can be taken to minimize an attack:

    -  By observing resource allocation on machines, any background process, or data that has been transmitted from the device outside the organization helps to identify if this threat is present. Usually, it requires root access to the system.
    -  The use of a virtual onscreen keyboard reduces the chance of this threat as this input of information is different from a physical keyboard, lowering your risks. 
    -  Have a policy of strong passwords at all times, and stick to safe practices whenever you are online.

    Bottom Line

    It is very difficult to get rid of keystroke loggers once they enter a system.

    Accordingly, it is advisable to be vigilant of the programs you are downloading and to assess everything carefully before installing any free apps. 

    Most importantly, keep your system up-to-date with the latest versions of software.

    This is a key protection measure against all forms of malware.