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Thursday, 28 December 2017


Keylogger is spy software to be installed on a computer or a spying device to be plugged into a computer. Basic keylogger saves all text typed using a computer keyboard. Advanced models have more functions like taking screenshots, sending reports to e-mail, storing history of browsing and opened apps.

Keylogger recorders may also be used by employers to observe employees' computer activities, parents to supervise their children's internet usage, users to track possible unauthorized activity on their devices or law enforcement agencies to analyze incidents involving computer use. These uses are considered ethical or appropriate in varying degrees.

Types of keyloggers

  1. Hardware Keyloggers. These are small inline devices placed between the keyboard and the computer. Because of their size they can often go undetected for long periods of time -- however, they of course require physical access to the machine. These hardware devices have the power to capture hundreds of keystrokes including banking and email username and passwords.
  2. Software using a hooking mechanism. This type logging is accomplished by using the Windows function SetWindowsHookEx() that monitors all keystrokes. The spyware will typically come packaged as an executable file that initiates the hook function, plus a DLL file to handle the logging functions. An application that calls SetWindowsHookEx() is capable of capturing even autocomplete passwords.
  3. Kernel/driver keyloggers. This type of keylogger is at the kernel level and receives data directly from the input device (typically, a keyboard). It replaces the core software for interpreting keystrokes. It can be programmed to be virtually undetectable by taking advantage of the fact that it is executed on boot, before any user-level applications start. Since the program runs at the kernel level, one disadvantage to this approach it that it fails to capture auto complete passwords, as this information is passed in the application layer.

Detection, prevention and removal

Anti keylogger software is designed specifically to scan for software-based keyloggers, by comparing the files on a computer against a keylogger signature base or a checklist of common keylogger attributes. Using an anti keylogger can be more effective than using an antivirus or anti spyware program, as the latter may identify a keylogger as a legitimate program instead of spyware.