What we are going to discuss and cover in this article today mostly happens, without the knowledge of the user and behind the scene. However when the user comes to know about it, nothing much remains to be done.
So What Are We Talking About?
Yes, you are correct, we are talking about keystroke loggers. Key loggers are classified into two parts:
Hardware based and software based.
Hardware based key loggers are generally fixed in the keyboard or in between the keyboard to its input in PC, however these are rarely used for the purpose.
Software based key-loggers generally resides in your PC’s storage device itself. It can be removed using a good antivirus software.
So How Do They Work?
To know how to protect yourself from this malice and the ever-growing cancer of the Internet world, you should at-least have a basic idea about how these things work.
As I described above keyloggers can be classified into two types, ie; devices and softwares, however we are going to discuss about the software today as it is more prevalent than the other type.
The keylogging softwares consists of dedicated programs which are specifically designed to track and log keystrokes.
The most common method to construct these softwares are as given below:
- Method 1: A system hook which intercepts signals that a key has been pressed (installed using WinAPI SetWindowsHook for messages sent by the window procedure. It is most often written in C);
- Method 2: A cyclical information keyboard request from the keyboard (using WinAPI Get(Async)KeyState or GetKeyboardState – most often written in Visual Basic, sometimes in Borland Delphi);
- Method 3: Using a filter driver or a modified keyboard driver (requires specialized knowledge and is written in C).
How Do I Protect Myself?
Now you have come to know a little how these things work, its time to know, how to protect yourself from these things.
- Your first line of defense should always be a good a Internet security software, if it really good, most of them would be stopped even before entering your PC.(Might try Kaspersky) Always remember to keep them updated till date.
- Never install or open any file in your PC which was sent from a completely unknown person.
- Do not hesitate to check the files brought to you by even your closest friend with your Antivirus program, he might not infect it purposefully, but you never know if his PC is compromised. If its so, then the worm or Trojan will surely send a copy of itself with the files he copied.
- You can use a onscreen keyboard, to type sensitive materials or password. Do not use the OSK provided with your OS. Even the dumbest of the Keyloggers can sense and log them. You can use other free OSK or the OSk provided by your Antivirus.( Some of them Provides)
- You can use keystroke encryption softwares. What they actually do is that they encrypt the keystroke values when you type, hence even if it gets logged, the hacker would find some garbage value. I have included two such softwares such as Keyscrambler and BlueGem Kse. Both of them are free, you can download them from Here.
- If you still feel that your keystrokes are being logged (from unnatural computer activity) its better to contact a good technician.