what is a keylogger and how does it work

What are the Different Types of Keyloggers?

1. Hardware Keyloggers

Hardware keyloggers are devices that must be attached to the computer to record keystrokes. A hacker must have access to the device to retrieve information because a hardware keylogger cannot transmit information via a remote server. The information is stored in the device itself.

2. Acoustic Keyloggers

Acoustic keyloggers function by recording the sound of each key. Not everybody knows, but each character contains a unique sound. Hackers determine what characters are typed using the unique key acoustic keyloggers capture. However, the result can be inaccurate, so acoustic keyloggers are seldom used.

3. API-Based Keyloggers

API-Based Keyloggers is an application that captures each key you press on the keyboard as they travel to the application. They do this by monitoring the paths on the operating system. The information is recorded on the software memory and transmitted to the hacker via a C&C server.

4. Form Grabbing-Based Keyloggers

Form grabbing-based keyloggers steal personal information by monitoring your website submission. For example, you visit a website and type in your username and password, Form grabbing-based keyloggers, records the entire data submission process to capture the information.

5. Kernel-Based Keyloggers

Kernel-Based Keyloggers has rootkit functionalities. Which means that it resides in the kernel of the computer. It can capture keys while remaining invisible in the file system. Kernel-based keyloggers are difficult to remove because it’s been part of the operating system.

That’s is how different types of keyloggers work. You have to protect yourself against keyloggers because they are serious threats to your personal and sensitive information. Once hackers retrieve the information from the C&C server, they can access your account without your permission. So they can empty your bank account or make unauthorized transactions online.

Keyloggers are spread online and deployed through different methods. Learn how keyloggers are commonly distributed to avoid falling victim to a keylogger attack.

How Hackers Install Keyloggers on your Computer?

Trojan Horse

Trojan horse is malicious software that pretends as a legitimate application. Hackers bundle trojan with keyloggers. Once trojan gets installed, it activates the keylogger on the computer.

Phishing Email

A phishing email pretends as an email from a friend. It contains a keylogger that installs when the user runs the email attachment. It deceives users into opening it using a threat or appealing contents. You’ll know it’s a phishing email if it urges you to act promptly.

Exploit Kits

Exploit kits inject keyloggers in your device or browsers once they discover a vulnerability. Hackers use exploit kits to scan devices and web browsers for vulnerabilities. So it is important to keep your software and browsers updated.

Phishing URLs

Phishing URLs are infected links that redirect the user to malicious websites. If phishing emails create a sense of urgency, phishing URLs promise the crack version of the software or a cheat app. So be careful with links you click online.

Now that we know how hackers spread keyloggers, it is important to protect yourself from those attacks to prevent a keylogger infection. So what are effective ways to avoid falling victim to phishing emails, exploit kits, and others?

How to Prevent a Keylogger Infection?

Install Anti Malware Software

Anti malware software protects you from phishing emails, phishing URLs, exploit kits, and trojan. Installing anti malware software is the best way to protect yourself from keyloggers. It scans any file that enters the computer to prevent malware infections.

Use Website Scanner to Scan a URL

If the link appears suspicious and you want to scan it for malware, you can use a URL scanner to determine if the link is safe or malicious. Use a free online scanner such as Comodo Website Inspector. It scans a URL in less than a minute. Just right click on the link then copy and paste it into the website.

Use 2-Step Verification

For extra security against keyloggers, enable a 2-Step verification for your account. It prevents hackers from hacking your account even if he obtains your username and password. Only you would know the pin code sent to you via text.

You can prevent keyloggers if you take caution when you go online. Most importantly, install anti malware software on your computer for complete keylogger protection.

In an organization, protecting your endpoint devices against keyloggers is essential. Click here to learn how you can protect your endpoints from keyloggers.


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