The keylogger definition is taken from the words “keystroke logger”. It is a program that logs every key you press on the keyboard. That is the exact keylogger definition.
Keyloggers are serious threats because they expose your passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information to hackers. They capture and record every key you enter on the keyboard, then transmit the information to a C&C server. The hacker then can use the information to make unauthorized transactions. Hackers also use keyloggers to steal confidential data from companies and government offices. That makes keyloggers a serious threat. Keyloggers also have a positive effect, because authorities can use it to spy on criminals. However, it becomes a dangerous tool, if it falls in the wrong hands.
How Does a Keylogger Get inside the Computer?
Below are the most common methods hackers use to spread a keylogger.
- Trojan Horse
- Spear Phishing
- Phishing URL
- Exploit kits
Trojan Horse is always bundled with other malicious software such as a keylogger. It pretends as a genuine application and serves as the entry point of other malware once it is installed on the computer. Trojan installs a keylogger once it gets activated.
Spear phishing or a malicious email also installs a keylogger. It tricks the user into opening it, then the malicious software it contains installs when the user runs the file. That’s another way how keyloggers get into the computer.
A phishing URL redirects the user to malicious websites that install keylogger, trojan, spyware, ransomware, viruses, and worms. A phishing URL promises a game cheat download or crack software to users.
A drive-by-download is when malicious websites install malware without the user’s awareness. It happens silently in the background, making it difficult to detect.
Exploit kits scan the IoT devices and browsers for vulnerabilities. It installs malware once it discovers a vulnerability. Hackers use exploit kits to install a keylogger and hack a website.
How to Prevent Keyloggers?
To prevent keyloggers from infecting your computer, you may take into considerations the following preventive measures:
1. Avoid Downloading Untrusted Software
Untrusted software may contain malicious software. Some applications pretend as useful, but they are really harmful. So be careful with downloading free applications on the Internet, some of them contain a keylogger.
2. Avoid Opening Suspicious Emails
As mentioned earlier, spear phishing installs malware. If the email seems suspicious, avoid opening it. It may cause malware infections on your device.
3. Install Software Updates
Software updates fix patch vulnerabilities on a device. Therefore, software updates protect you from exploit kits. You also have to install the latest updates for your browser to prevent exploit kits from infecting your browsers.
4. Install Anti Malware Software
Anti Malware Software protects you from varieties of threats. It can detect spear phishing, drive-by-downloads, and exploits kits. Thus, prevents malware from entering the computer. You can find free anti malware software online.
How to Detect Keylogger on the Computer?
1. How to Detect Keylogger Method no. 1 - Task Manager
Open Task Manager and look for any suspicious file in the list of active applications. You may need a good technical skill to recognize a keylogger. You can Google the file though, particularly if the publisher is unverified. Once the file is confirmed as a keylogger, uninstall it from the computer.
2. How to Detect Keylogger Method no. 2 - Programs and Features
Open Programs and Features. In the list of applications, look for any software that you didn’t install. A drive-by-download or a phishing email could have installed the application without your knowledge. If it is unnecessary, you can uninstall it from the computer.
3. How to Detect Keylogger Method no. 3 - Malware Scanner
Malware scanner is a great tool to detect and remove keyloggers from the computer. Download a reputable malware scanner online such as Comodo Anti Malware. It is an effective malware scanner that constantly monitors your computer for malware. It is also light so it works without slowing down your computer.
A keylogger is a dangerous threat that allows hackers to use your personal information without your permission. Protect your computer by applying preventive measures. Also, Install a reputable anti malware software to keep confidential information safe from keyloggers.
In an organization, endpoint protection is necessary to protect endpoint devices from keyloggers. Learn more about endpoint protection here.