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Data Protection 101: Keystroke Loggers

Keystroke Logging is a software that tracks the keys that you type on your keyboard, as you type them. In example, if you were to start typing a document, a keystroke logger would be able to use their own special software to be able to monitor each key you have typed and figure out what you typed.

While this may seem a little shocking to hear, Nerds Support’s experienced business IT support team has been aware of programs like these for quite some time. In fact, hackers that carry keystroke logging programs are called Keyloggers. In the hacking community, Keyloggers have developed Keystroke Logging software that can access any type of computer. Nerds Support’s IT support Miami team would like to advise that this also includes highly monitored business computers.

Who uses Keystroke Logging?

Believe it or not, keystroke logging is an open secret. Even regular business owners, with a good sense of computer knowledge, access keystroke logging software for everyday use. Generally speaking, companies are more commonly use keystroke logging software to monitor their employee’s computer productivity. That means, that as a business owner, you can use this type of software to see what your employees are doing on company computers.

However, there is a community of hackers who would use this keystroke logging software to do some serious harm to your company. Keyloggers disable antivirus software on unsuspecting computers in order to install keystroke logging programs. Often, they use social engineering tactics, such as email phishing, to trick employees into downloading the malware onto company computers. They use their own special software to access company computers and disable the antivirus.

From there, keyloggers can find now configure everything that you type in your keyboard. They can access valuable information that can be used against you. Such data includes:

  • Important email login information
  • Very Important company files on clientele and analytics
  • Super Important company financial information

This information is only a fraction of what a keylogger can access if they were to ever hack your business computer to find company information.

Types of Key Loggers

Hardware

There are hardware based key loggers, which use a small device that serves as a connecter between a keyboard and the computer. The device was made to resemble an ordinary keyboard connecter.

A hardware key logger also comes as a module that is installed inside the actual keyboard. The victim uses the keyboard and the device collects each keystroke, saving it as text in its own hard drive.

Software

There are also key logging software programs as previously mentioned. These don’t require physical access to the target computer to install. A hacker typically installs the key logging software via malware to trick users into unwittingly downloading whatever program the hacker is using at the time.

Massive spam campaigns where a hacker sends malware encrypted with key logger software is pretty frequent.

There are several indicators that you could have a key logger in your system. Keep in mind, however, that one or more of these signs don’t automatically mean you have one:

  • Your mouse or keystrokes don’t appear onscreen when you type.
  • A slower web browser
  • You receive error screens when loading a graphic or webpage.

Keystroke Logging Incidents

On February 28, 2019 four students in New Jersey made the news when they illegally trying to change their grades used using keylogging software to hack into the school districts computer system.

The Jersey Journal reported the students used the software to get their teachers’ log-on information and changed their own grades and the grades of their friends.

This is just one example of what Keystroke logging is capable of.

Keystroke Logging Facts and Statistics

Keystroke logging is one of the oldest tools in the hacker’s arsenal, dating back all the way to the 1960’s and 1970’s. Russian spies figured out how to bug IBM typewriters used by US diplomats, transmitting the keystrokes through radio frequency.

In 2015 a key logger was found hidden inside a game modification for the popular videogame Grand Theft Auto V.

It’s also a tool used in law enforcement. In 1999 the FBI used key logging get notorious Philadelphia crime boss Nicodemo Scarfo Jr. when they installed a key logger through a Trojan. Using the data obtained from the key logger they were able to use it as part of their case against Scarfo.

Criminals use key loggers to get passwords, credit card information, and personal information in order to steal your identity and more. Key logging is one of the most prevalent forms of spyware because anyone can use it thanks to commercial spyware companies.

There are services that help install key loggers into a target of the client’s choosing.  There are even key logging services catered towards parents who wish to monitor their children’s online activity. These tools are available for anyone to use.

How to Combat Keystroke Logging?

It can be frustrating to fight against keystroke logging software. It might even be hard to prove that such a software is installed in your work computers. But one suggestion to combat keyloggers is that your company have Nerds Support’s Miami IT support data protection team to take care of keyloggers and ensure the safety of your company.

Having a reliable IT Support Miami team has become essential to a company’s survival. That’s why Nerds Support’s data centers are so secure. Your company would have heavily monitored data centers that conduct daily scans on their servers. When a heavily monitored data center conducts their scans, they make sure that their servers are clean and free of any trace of hackers or malware. Such a team would even alert your company of what is happening and remove the threat immediately.

A good business IT support plan should come with the latest firewalls and antiviruses. That would mean that so that business’ protection against malware can be guaranteed. That means you, the business owner, can focus more on your business and maximizing profit. So if you are in need of a great business protection plan, contact Nerds Support & find out how we can help you achieve your business goals!