A key-logger is a device (physical device, hardware) or a computer program (software) which is secretly connected or downloaded on the computers. The aim of this device/program is to record all keystrokes that are generated from a keyboard. The keystrokes are secretly recorded without the user’s knowledge and are viewed by the fraudsters. Usually, the person who has installed the key-logger can retrieve the record by pressing a combination of keys simultaneously and/or by providing a secret password. In some cases, the key-logger can also transmit the details of the record remotely by using e-mail, Bluetooth signals or other methods.
How can your computer get infected by a Key-logger?
- A person you know might install one on your computer while you are not watching.
- By using an infected USB device.
- From downloading cracks or Keygens (key generator) from the internet. These files often contain viruses or Key loggers.
- By Installing games or software from unknown publishers.
- From Downloading and Installing programs from torrents.
- By visiting a website that exploits some browser vulnerability, this usually happens when you are using an outdated browser or have outdated plugins in a browser, or your operating system is not up-to-date with the latest security patches.
Safety Tips of Key-logger
Use a virtual Keyboard
To protect against both Key logging software and hardware, use a virtual keyboard. A virtual keyboard is a program that shows a keyboard on the screen, and the keys can be ‘pressed’ by using a mouse. If your Internet Banking login screen has a virtual keyboard, it is highly recommended to use it always.
Use a firewall always
Most Key logger software transmit an “I am alive” message as well as the recorded keystrokes to the bot handler. To detect this, install a personal firewall on your PC and keep a track of the data that is being sent by your PC to the external world. Configure an alert whenever any data is being transmitted to internet, review the alert and block the file or port if it is a suspicious data packet.
Have a robust and updated antivirus solution running
Most antivirus companies have already added known Key loggers to their databases, making protecting against Key loggers no different from protecting against other types of malicious programs. Install an antivirus product and keep its database up to date. However, since most antivirus products classify Key loggers as potentially malicious, or potentially undesirable programs, users should ensure that their antivirus product will, with default settings, detect this type of malware. If not, then the product should be configured accordingly, to ensure protection against most common Key loggers.
Check the system processes running
At weekly intervals check the system processes running by typing “msconfig” in your Run Command. Note down the processes that are currently running as well as the processes that are configured to automatically Start when your system boots. Investigate suspicious processes – which is easier said than done! Unfortunately, malware processes are rarely named “evil keylogger.exe”! Often malware, like Key loggers, have names that are similar to other normal processes like svchost.exe, making it difficult to distinguish between a safe process and a malicious one. Further there are quite a few Key loggers that will not show up at all in the Task Manager process list. Nevertheless, prevention is better than cure.
Fool the Key logger – a simple way
Type your password in a random way. Example: if your password is “your password”: Type “password” first then bring cursor to beginning, type "your". This way you can fool Key loggers.
Just say no to freeware
Just say no to "freeware" Since Key loggers can easily attach themselves to free software offered over the Internet, including free screensavers or Internet accelerators, resist the temptation to install these on your computer. Only install software from recognised vendors.
Check for Hardware Key loggers
These are devices plugged between the keyboard and the computer and are most easy to find. Simply look behind the computer you are using. If you see any kind of adapter or device between the keyboard and the motherboard connector – switch the computer or the Internet Cafe!
Monitor your transactions
Review your order confirmations, Credit Card and Bank Statements as soon as you receive them to make sure you are being charged only for transactions that have taken place. Immediately report any irregularities to your bank.
Avoid suspicious sites
Do not visit suspicious sites. If you suspect that a website is not what it purports to be, leave the site immediately. Do not follow any of the instructions it presents.
Avoid using public computer
Never use computers located in public places such as Internet cafes or airport lounges for online banking.