Keyloggers are one of the most popular computer security threats. It's hard to detect, and the damage they can do does not stop on your computer, for example if your malware stole your credit card details.
Keylogging malware is widely circulated, and is usually contained in any malware variants. Below we will try to see how you can protect yourself from a keylogger. Let's mention once again that there are no perfect defenses, but the steps below will improve the security of your system.
What are Keyloggers?
Before we see how we can stop a keylogger, we should see what it is, how it works and where it comes from.
Keylogger refers to a malicious program that records your keystrokes. Every word, every character and every button you tap on your keyboard is recorded.
At some point in the code, the keylogger sends the log to the attacker. The file may contain your bank connections, credit and debit card details, passwords, and anything else that you have entered on your computer.
Almost all keyloggers are accompanied by other malware. Previously malware keyloggers remained silent for as long as possible. This means that the files are not malicious, they just collect data as you continue to use your system.
However, this is not always the case. For example, the recently discovered MysteryBot targets Android devices with Trojan banking, keylogger and ransomware. Generally, a keylogger will appear as part of an exploit kit that gives the intruder control over various functions of your system.
But there is another form of keylogger. Card readers and skimmers who click on the PoS to copy your PIN. Along with all of the above, you should be careful about what USB you place on your computer and by whom.
But let's see how you can protect yourself:
In most cases, the keylogger must send the data stored to the attacker via the Internet. But your Internet passes through a firewall (Firewall, for example, Windows Firewall). So there is a chance you can understand that something is wrong.
For more protection, you could also use a third-party firewall, although it is not recommended for your system's performance. Windows Firewall is a great tool, as long as you learn how to set it up.
Install Password Manager
Too many security researchers recommend changing your passwords often. Practically it is very difficult, because we have to memorize dozens of passwords depending on the online services we use. Keyloggers of course do their job: they copy and store any information you type. But what if you do not type the passwords?
Most Password Managers use the auto-fill feature, The password is added to the password box without typing.
Unfortunately, only one password manager is not enough for your protection:
- Some password managers do not copy-paste your passwords. They use an auto-type function to enter the password. So the keylogger will copy every data.
- A well-designed keylogger periodically pulls screenshots, but also saves the content stored in the clipboard.
A good solution for all the above is the KeePass which uses TCATO (from Two-Channel Auto-Type Obfuscation). TCATO splits the password into two segments, sends them to the clipboard, and then merges them into the password box. However, let's say nothing is as safe as it claims, as it is theoretically possible to write a specialized monitoring application that specializes in recording this type of storage.
Update your system
Your system updates are necessary. Keyloggers and other malicious programs are looking for exploits on systems that have not been updated. However, security researchers are constantly finding new exploits that can be instantly updated. But it may not.
So as we mentioned from the beginning of the post nothing can be 100% safe. Frequent updates, however, significantly reduce the risk.
Search for additional security tools
The default security options for Windows 10 are impressive, but there are always specialized tools that add extra security.
For example Ghostpress, is a free anti-keylogger with a very small footprint in performance.
Change your codes
If you see that something is wrong, use a different computer and change all of your passwords.