A keylogger is program or file that has been executed to record all of the keystrokes a computer user makes. Once a computer user has been infected with a keylogger, it will run in a hidden manner, and report all the information that is being input into the computer, and this is sent back to the hacker. After the computer hacker has compiled enough information using the keylogger, they might use this information to access bank accounts or log into online email addresses, and send Spam.
The greatest problem with having a keylogger infection on your computer system is the use of personal information that has been transmitted to the hacker. Imagine if a keylogger infected a computer, and this went undetected for at least a month. Whatever the user typed in the system within that month would have been transmitted back.
At least once a month the user could have entered his or her bank account numbers and passwords. If they shop online, the hacker would have received their credit card number and address, their CVV number, and the card’s expiry date. All personal messages to family and friends would also have been transmitted.
The worse case in this scenario would have been if the hacker had not only collected your personal information, but subsequently took that information, and sold it on the “black market.” A keylogger would give any criminal the opportunity to establish new credit using the computer user’s information.
There are two main types of keyloggers. Those created to be distributed after visiting a Web site, or after downloading a file. A keylogger such as this is much more easier to detect than the other type. The second type of keylogger is created using various types of hardware. For example, a computer could be tampered with to have chip installed with a keylogger to collect confidential information such as credit cards.
Overall, there seems to be an increase in the amount of people trying to steal personal information from computer users, and keyloggers are one of the ways hackers are trying to attempt this. In the past few years, as they have tried to find more ways to access personal information, the ability to detect keyloggers has seemed to become even more difficult.
This post is part of the series: A General Overview of Keyloggers
- What Are Keyloggers?
- The File Types Associated With Keyloggers
- How To Identify A Keylogger
- Protection From Keyloggers