Keylogger is a malicious computer program that records everything you type on the keyboard and learns the keystroke pattern including words, characters, symbols and sends all the recorded details to the malicious hackers.
But technically, keyloggers are software. There has been a misconception that Keyloggers are always used for criminal purposes. In reality, Keyloggers have professional and legal usage also.
Imagine an invisible camera kept above your keyboard which records everything you type and sends it to the person who kept it. These are called as Keyloggers.
It can be used by parents who want to monitor their children’s activities or Companies that want to monitor their employees from doing malicious activities.
Keyloggers are sometimes enclosed with other malware like trojans, worms or viruses. This stealthy little software can analyze your keystrokes and predict what you are typing on the computer.
For instance, if you are typing fb.com or facebook.com, obviously the next thing you are going to enter is your credentials. In this way, the keylogger will store the rest of the keystrokes as “username” and “password”.
Keyloggers are very hard to detect when you are a normal computer user. They are responsible for lots of password stealing, credit card hijacking and other major malicious activities.
Type of Keyloggers
i) Hardware Keyloggers: Devices that can be attached in our computer which will act as a keylogger and collects information about the specified target.
ii) Software keyloggers: Probably a malicious program that does not infect your system but still can steal your passwords, account details, etc.
How does Keylogger work?
Just like any other malicious program that sends its reports to the attackers, keyloggers also send information about keystrokes that a victim enters in his/her keyboard to its creator or a remote server or a specified email address.
Keyloggers are hidden so deep that even some antivirus programs can’t detect. Professionally designed keyloggers get embedded with the operating system kernel which makes it too difficult to detect by antiviruses. Keyloggers are one of the dangerous and stealthy.
How to Protect From Keyloggers?
- Do not download any attachments from unknown websites.
- Keep your AntiVirus software updated.
- Use Virtual Keyboards which will prevent typing keystrokes.
- Use Two-Factor Authentication Methods on important sites.
- User firewall and password manager