Keylogger : PC Spyware Protection

By: Raqueb Arshad

Today the trend has been changed. We are using monitoring software at home. From office to large enterprise monitoring softwares are now largely used. All these purpose is to safeguard of personal and business matter.There are lot of monitoring softwares now. May be you are also using one of these softwares. But are you sure that this monitoring software is spying you rather than serves you and sends all information as keystroke to the remote location ? Who knows ?

Keylogging spyware (such programs are usually called simply "keyloggers")has very much in common with legitimate monitoring software. These programs spy -- they log keystrokes and mouse clicks, make screenshots, compile a neat log-file and send it to the person who installed (as a rule, remotely) this program on your or somebody else's PC.

The very principle is often the same. Actually, the technology applied in monitoring software is a dual-purpose one. It is neither good nor bad -- numerous things can be used for several purposes, not all of them permissible. A knife is a typical example -- while we are cutting bread with a bread knife, somebody stabs his neighbor to death with a dagger or stiletto.Identity thieves do know how to use both kinds of this software for their nefarious purpose. I am not going to talk about moral issues, but if there is an opportunity, there always will be one to use it.If these programs are so closely related, how to tell which is which then? Well, there are two specific program functions that are typical only to programs that spy.First, it is possible to carry out preliminary configuration of the monitoring module (it is usually called client, agent etc.), getting a compiled executable file as a result. This file, when installed, doesn't display any messages or create windows on the screen. It " ;hides its

Second, spy software always has built-in means of remote installation; as a rule, the pre-configured module (agent) is installed into the target PC remotely. Then the files with obtained information are sent via local network or emailed to the person who installed the spy program.Remove these functions -- and you will get a monitoring program instead of spyware. If it is impossible to pre-configure the monitoring module and install it remotely, it is not spyware. If you should have administrator privilege to install the program, it is monitoring software. (Person with administrator privilege installs major software products, and in case of a home computer, it is usually the person who owns the PC). Nevertheless, there are some vendors who advertise monitoring products with "remote deployment", i.e. function of remote installation. In fact, nothing distinguishes these programs from malicious keyloggers. Some of them are actually Trojan Horse programs, which can be sent by email disguised as, say, a greeting card.

Many users feel that it is impossible to install a surveillance program without physical access to their PCs. Unfortunately, they are mistaken. And security experts confirm-- remote deployment of surveillance software is sharply on the rise. Researchers from Websense Security Labs in their "Security Trends Report" call such programs "commercial keyloggers" and caution users against them: " These commercial keyloggers may be marketed as products that allow you to spy on your spouse or watch your children's online activities. They are often used as packaged attacks designed to capture keystrokes to gather online banking passwords, login credentials, Social Security Numbers and other identity-related information".No wonder that both security experts and vendors now see keyloggers no matter whether they are commercial ones or those cybercriminals write themselves as a grave t

Keyloggers can be also included into freeware and shareware. Trojan programs, viruses and Internet worms often contain keyloggers, too. Security experts w arn that information-stealing programs are already relatively common and predict the further rise of unlawful use of such software. That is why it is so important to apply special anti-keylogging protection.Alexandra Gamanenko currently works at Raytown Corporation, LLC, an independent software developing company. The company's R&D department created an innovative technology, which disables the very processes of capturing information, such as keylogging, screenshoting, etc. The company's anti-keylogging software doesn't detect spy programs or information-stealing Trojans one by one it brings all the "spies" to a standstill.

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