Watch Out For Those Keyloggers

from Lynette Chandler 

I’m uncertain if this is getting more common across the board. From my personal experience it sure does feel like it. This morning, my phone rang at an unusually early hour. It was a long time friend. She said all her web sites have been hijacked, she cannot view any blogs, her gmail account has been hijacked and all security questions changed. She used a different email address and suspected that those accounts are at risk too. She felt like she’s ‘being followed’ and asked me to help.Drivesearch

Unfortunately for us, she lives a long ways from me. I do not have access to her computer to be sure. My suspicion is, she has a keylogger on her computer.

Keyloggers can be hardware or software that is attached or installed itself on your computer. When a keylogger is installed, every key stroke that you type is recorded and sent back to whoever is monitoring your computer. Every password, every security question, every email, every Tweet, every instant message, every document for work. Everything. It doesn’t do any good to change passwords on your websites, emails or anything because they are all logged.

How do you know you have one? If you do, the symptoms should be pretty obvious. These people don’t waste time. As soon as they get data back from the keylogger, they strike and that can be pretty quickly. If you have changed your passwords and still find your access to web sites or emails getting hacked, that is a pretty good sign. If you change it on someone else’s computer and nothing happens, that’s also another good sign though not entirely an acid test.

If you have a physical keylogger – then it is easy to find – check your computer inside and out. But these days, chances are higher for a software based keylogger and this can be bad news because there are many types of loggers. Some install themselves deep into the operating system files, making it a lot harder to detect. Some are less insidious and can be detected with some software. Here are a few you can try.

If I did find something like that, my next move would probably be to re-format my computer, wipe everything out and start anew.

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