Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Keylogger Attacks Up 65 Percent, Is Your Personal Information Safe?

I've written a lot about Keyloggers. Here is a pretty scary statistic from iDefense, which is a leading and well respected computer security company.

iDefense reports that in 2000 there were 300 known attacks, last year there were 3,753 attacks and this year, there has been 6,191 attacks so far this year. This represents a 65 percent increase in activity, which illustrates that this could be a nasty trend.

"Keyloggers, silently installed programs that record a victim’s keystrokes and sends them to hackers, put tens of millions of Internet users’ finances, personal data and account information at risk. Largely distributed by organized cyber theft groups, they are typically packaged with phishing emails or spyware – malicious code that than tracks victims’ online activity – often eluding traditional security defenses like anti-virus software and firewalls."

You might be amazed that "keyloggers" are legal, here is one site of many (do a search on your favorite search engine), :: Professional keylogger (key logger) and surveillance software :: Overview .

Keyloggers are "marketed" as an efficient means to spy on your spouse, child, boss, or employees. Unfortunately, they can be used to commit crimes and espionage, also.

Of course, for a price, you can protect yourself (maybe), Professional anti-keylogging and anti-spyware software :: Anti-keylogger :: Overview . Please note, I can't endorse any of these products as I'm not certain how effective they are. Making sure all your computer protections are "up to date" is probably the best advice, I can give.

As this menace increases, I'm certain we will learn more.

It's a crying shame that these programs are for sale all over the internet. Examples, such as this, reveal why internet crime is growing rapidly. To me, not only is it scandalous that this technology is openly available to criminals, but it is even more scandalous that companies are allowed to market it and then market the means to protect against it.


Anonymous said...

Computers are sometimes
used for illegal purposes!
Maybe we should just ban
them too!

Ed Dickson said...

Sorry Anon, I'm afraid you've missed the point. Computers are designed for pleasure, education, work etc. etc.

Keyloggers are primarily designed to spy.

To me, there is a little difference.

viruswitch said...

Its all about how one uses a tool. The tool itself usually cannot be classified as illegal or legal. But here, I cannot imagine that keyloggers could ever be used for another purpose than to spy. And this is a violation of personal data. I cant come up with a legal usage for keyloggers, thats why I agree that they should be illegal.

However I believe most antivirus software detect even legal keyloggers and report them as riskware, exactly like remote controlling tools that could funtion like backdoors. For example VNC. Remote tools though do have a legal usage and I wouldnt put them in the same category as keyloggers.