Wednesday, April 16, 2008

“Many a treasure besides Ali Baba's is unlocked with a verbal key” Henry Van Dyke

Some students have been asking me about keyloggers. Keyloggers are small devices or pieces of software that records every keystroke you type. Once your keystrokes are recorded a person has the potential of knowing all your passwords and anything else you may have typed. This is the type of thing that I dreamed of when I watched spy movies. The hardware version is usually attached between the keyboard and the computer. It will be quite small around and inch or so. The software version is much harder to find. It works similarly to spyware. In fact some spyware’s main objective is to record your typing. As usual I do recommend that you run antispyware programs like Ad-Aware to try to clean these nasties out. There are things you can do to frustrate these devices. Frist of all limit the amount of people who can access your computer physically. That one seems a bit obvious. The other we discussed which is to set up defenses like antispyware and firewalls. I did read of one trick I really liked. If you have to use a computer that you suspect is being keylogged then when you type in a password or something important add in random letters or numbers. Then go back and delete those extras. This works because keyloggers record what is typed but not when the is used. As usual I write this in hopes that this helps you to become a more informed user.

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