what are key loggers?

imagine if somebody installs a software on your computer without your knowledge that lets them steal your bank account log-in id and password. scared to imagine the results?

well it’s not fiction that we’re talking about here but what is happening with people around the world – and spyware is to blame.

spyware is a broader term where this stealing of the personal information is done in myriad ways. key loggers and trojans are the common software applications that are used to spy computers.

key logger
key logger is the name for any software application that “spies and logs each of the key that you type on the keyboard.” then the creator of the key logger can easily view all the keys entered, sneaking into your personal details.

a trojan is kind of spy software installed in a victim’s computer using spyware or by sending email as an attachment masqueraded with safe software (to avoid doubt) . a trojan is capable of recording keystrokes, copying recently visited website’s url and copy stored passwords of the browser. the trojan then sends keystroke logs to the ******* at regular intervals. some advanced trojans send messages to intimate the hacker when you are online thus providing them complete remote access to your computer.

how do key loggers work?

as soon as the software is installed into your system, it starts recording all the keystrokes which include your personal information, credit card numbers and pins, log-in ids, passwords etc. and send keystroke logs to the ******* from your computer. in order to install these crime loggers, the *******s may use spam emails with attachment, pop-up ads, applications with malicious codes, free gaming and porn sites. the ******* may lure you to click the acceptance button of any so-called “free software” in order to let his logger creep into your system and start spying.
to add to it, the user will never know that something is settling on his system as the loggers are generally hidden and proclaims themselves as safe at the antivirus software applications and firewalls.

key loggers have certain options like the hide-mode, where no icon is visible in the applications list. they can rename any executable file and change registry entries. after knowing these identity thieves, the next step would be to stop them invading your computer.

identifying spyware invasion

identifying the possible infiltration of the spyware is easy. the following are some of the most common sources:
an e-mail from an unknown or untrustworthy source (spam email) can contain a website link. clicking this link will install the spyware.
while browsing the internet many pop-up screens appear which prompt you to click them for a free software download. the moment you click it the spyware will be installed.
an e-mail with an “.exe” file as an attachment is sent to you. when you open or download the attachment, the spyware is installed.
while browsing the internet, a pop-up screen appears on your screen which may have a simple question or a button that says ‘close’. the moment you click the spyware will be installed.
some websites provide free access to mp3, serial keys, games, or pornographic content provided you download a particular program on your computer or agree to click a pop-up box.

so how do you identify if your computer is already under the influence of spyware? well here some of the common symptoms of a computer that has a spyware installed:
you realize that suddenly your computer is not as fast as it normally is.
you experience unexplained erratic behavior from the computer.
you notice that there are some new unknown icons on your computer screen
you notice weird pop-up windows showing up every time you open a new browser window.

prevention from key logger and trojan ****s

as most of the advanced key loggers and trojans are not detected by the anti-virus software, due to the varying signatures of the loggers from the regular virus, its best to prevent than to cure as it becomes extremely difficult for the normal user to detect them. here are some of the things that you can do for protection against key loggers specifically and computer fraud in general.
as a common practice do not open suspicious or unsolicited emails (spam emails). delete them from your inbox.
even if you do open a spam email, under any circumstances do not click on any links, or open/download any files attached to them.
make sure that you have very good anti-virus software installed on your computer that not only protects your computer from viruses but also from unwanted programs. and make sure you update any latest versions to that software.
make sure that you have automatic updates; firewall turned on and regularly download the security patches if you are a windows user.
be very wary when you access websites that provide free downloads (such as music, serial keys, adult content, games, movies etc). they may install harmful programs without your knowledge.
do not use software on your computer that auto-completes online forms. this can give internet *******s easy access to your personal and credit card details.
while downloading files from the internet make sure it is from a known or reputed source. if the file is an executable application (for example, if the file name ends with “.exe”), make sure you know exactly what it will do.
if a pop-up screen appears on your screen and prompts you for an action (for example if it asks you to ‘agree’ or ‘accept’ something), then be sure to read the text in the pop-up screen and any terms and conditions carefully and only when you are sure of the safety should you take an action.

sharing and caring

share this important information with your near and dear and educate them on the key logger ****s.