Online Security

The Advancement of the Keylogger

A keylogger is a program that runs in your computer’s background secretly recording all your keystrokes. Once your keystrokes are logged, they are hidden away for later retrieval by the attacker. The attacker then carefully reviews the information in hopes of finding passwords or other information that would prove useful to them.  For example, a keylogger can easily obtain confidential emails and reveal them to any interested outside party willing to pay for the information.

Keyloggers can be either software or hardware based.  Software-based keyloggers are easy to distribute and infect, but at the same time are more easily detectable.  Hardware-based keyloggers are more complex and harder to detect.  For all that you know, your keyboard could have a keylogger chip attached and anything being typed is recorded into a flash memory sitting inside your keyboard. Keyloggers have become one of the most powerful applications used for gathering information in a world where encrypted traffic is becoming more and more common.

keyloggerAs keyloggers become more advanced, the ability to detect them becomes more difficult. They can violate a user’s privacy for months, or even years, without being noticed.   During that time frame, a keylogger can collect a lot of information about the user it is monitoring.  A keylogger can potential obtain not only passwords and log-in names, but credit card numbers, bank account details, contacts, interests, web browsing habits, and much more.  All this collected information can be used to steal user’s personal documents, money, or even their identity.

A keylogger might be as simple as an.exe and a .dll that is placed in a computer and activated upon boot up via an entry in the registry. Or, the more sophisticated keyloggers, such as the Perfect Keylogger or ProBot Activity Monitor have developed a full line of nasty abilities including:

  • Undetectable in the process list and invisible in operation
  • A kernel keylogger driver that captures keystrokes even when the user is logged off
  • A remote deployment wizard
  • The ability to create text snapshots of active applications
  • The ability to capture http post data (including log-ins/passwords)
  • The ability to timestamp record workstation usage
  • HTML and text log file export
  • Automatic e-mail log file delivery

All keyloggers are not used for illegal purposes.  A variety of other uses have surfaced.  Keyloggers have been used to monitor websites visited as a means of parental control over children. They have been actively used to prevent child pornography and avoid children coming in contact with dangerous elements on the web.  Additionally, in December 2001, a federal court ruled that the FBI did not need a special wiretap order to place a keystroke logging device on a suspect’s computer. The judge allowed the FBI to keep details of its keylogging device secret (citing national security concerns). The defendant in the case, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., indicted for gambling and loan-sharking, used encryption to protect a file on his computer. The FBI used the keystroke logging device to capture Scarfo’s password and gain access to the needed file.

PC Repair Leeds, Maintenance, and Everything In-between

PC Repair Leeds, Maintenance, and Everything In-between

Finding a full service IT company in Leeds can sometimes be a bit of a nightmare. There are a number of companies that specialise in one area but lack in others, and if you run a business, then it can quickly become tiring when you have to deal with multiple people, phone numbers, and invoices. If you’re looking for an end-to-end provider of business computing Leeds, then it’s time to talk to the team at MH Computers.

At MH Computers we don’t do one thing well and simply scrape by in other areas. Instead, we excel in every service that we offer, and it covers a comprehensive range of IT services, as well as sales of new and refurbished computer systems. One number, one technician, and one bill – that is what MH Computers can offer your business.

If you need quotes for new computer procurement for your business, then we’re the ideal point of contact. Not only can we provide brand new machines from leading manufacturers, but we also build custom PCs that can suit the unique needs of your business. If you need computers with advanced graphics cards for CAD or 3D rendering, then we absolutely have you covered. We’re also Microsoft Registered Refurbishers, which means that we provided near-new laptops and PCs that can help you to save money, without having to worry about compromised quality or reliability.

One significant expense of business computing Leeds is maintenance. If you don’t have a service contract, then you’ll end up wasting time with multiple techs from different companies, none of whom will ever have the time to completely learn your systems. At MH Computers, we provide long term service agreements so that you can receive consistent and reliable service. It’s just another aspect of what makes us your perfect IT partner.

Talk to us today whether you need upgrades, PC repair, security software, or even emergency computer repair Leeds. We’re available 7 days a week, and are standing by to take your call.

Common Types of Malware: Trojans

malware - Auckland ITMalware is a term combining the words “malicious” and “software” and as the name implies, it can be very damaging to your computer. Although all malware can be potentially damaging, some types are merely inconvenient while others can destroy your entire system. Anti-virus software can catch and remove some of them, but in many cases professional services such as Auckland IT consulting must remove them. Damages can vary from the loss of a single file to a complete security breach and even identity theft. There are more types of malware than can be listed in one place, but one of the most commonly seen is the Trojan. Like the Trojan Horse in history, this type of malware disguises itself as something else in order to gain access to your computer.

Even within this single type of malware there are countless variations and degrees of severity. The one thing that they all have in common is that they can wreak havoc with your computer; and in the worst case scenario, your life. Of all the various types of Trojans, the password stealers are perhaps the most potentially dangerous to your personal or business security.

Password stealers make their way into your computer and record your login credentials for networks, email, games, and even ecommerce and banking sites. Many Trojans can even be reconfigured numerous times by the attacker once they’ve gained access to your system. As an example, the same infection could begin by taking login information for your FTP and email and then a new configuration file is sent to the system which causes the virus to redirect its attention to taking login information from your online banking site. The password stealers that take logins from online gaming sites are often given more media attention, but they are not necessarily the most common target.

Keeping your computer safe from Trojans and other types of malware isn’t always easy because new forms are being introduced every day. The first step is to make sure that your spyware and anti-virus software is kept up to date. When your software does need updated, never use a third party site; go to the specific manufacturer’s site for updates. If your computer is infected and you can’t remove the virus yourself, immediately contact and Auckland IT consulting company to have it removed before permanent damage is done.

Online Computer Security

online computer securityThe world today allows us very little privacy.  It is up to you to monitor your life, if you are online a lot.  Simple to say, but harder to do.  Updating your computer’s operating system is probably one of the best ways to help with identity theft protection.  There are frequent updates that will help you to protect your information.  The search engines such as Google and Yahoo constantly check for malicious websites.  Your site may be legitimate, but may have been hijacked.  Keep a two-way firewall active.  When you create a password for an account online, use at least 8-10 characters, including letters, symbols, and numbers.  If a hacker gets into one account with the password, then they can get into other accounts if the same password is used for more than one account, so use a different password for each account.

If you are into gaming, beware of disabling your security while online playing.  Check your game mode in your security software, so that it won’t bother you in the middle of your game, but at the same time will keep you protected.  You should be careful choosing friends on such sites as facebook and be very careful when downloading videos.  Many people enjoy going to Wi-Fi hotspots, but be careful and make sure they are a legitimate service.  Staying observant is good, but not enough.  Don’t become just another statistic. Enjoy the internet, but be safe online.