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anyone know anything about key loggers?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by fr0me0, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    my freinds ex gf has one on his computer and its causeing him alot of trouble. we don't even know enough about stuff like that to know that we don't know enough, we're pretty clueless. An anti virus scan is not getting rid of it, any help would be appreciated

  2. barthanatos

    barthanatos Insert witty comment here

    Feb 8, 2006
    South Carolina
    First things first-
    make sure not to do anything important on that computer until you are sure it is clean (no online banking, or sending passwords over the internet, no sensitive e-mails).

    Use another computer to change any online passwords that have even possibly been compromised. Then worry about cleaning up the infected computer.

    Do a search for spyware or adware removal. There are some good threads on this board that deal with removal, and plenty elsewhere.

    It may be wise to go ahead and reinstall the operating system. Spyware removal can be difficult, especially if you are not a computer expert. But it's also a worthwhile thing to learn how to do.

    I'll assume that your friend's computer is a Windows machine. A thorough removal process will probably involve editing the registry. You'll want to read up on this, as it is very easy to make a mistake that will render the computer (at least temporarily) unusable.

    There are malware programs that may not be removed by reinstalling the operating system. For example, they may have installed themself in the master boot record. A complete format of the affected hard drive may be in order. I have found it helpful to keep my personal files on a second hard drive so that I can easily wipe the system hard drive without significant data loss.

    One of the most important things once the machine is clean, is to prevent future infection, as this is much easier than removing spyware. Learn about firewalls. Make sure you understand the difference between a regular user account and the administrator account. You should normally not use the administrator account unless it is absolutely necessary to adjust your system or to install certain software. Don't open e-mails from people you don't trust. Make sure your e-mail program is setup to not allow java or other executable code to run unless you purposefully select to do so. Don't visit websites that cannot be trusted - pornography websites especially. There are websites that can run code on your machine just by accessing them, and without your knowledge. Use a pop-up blocker. Avoid using Internet Explorer or Microsoft Outlook (especially Outlook Express). Because of the way they are integrated into the operating system, it is easier for someone to gain access to your system when they shouldn't. A third-party program like Mozilla, for instance, may be better... but is not a cure-all.

    Perhaps you know a computer-savvy person that would be willing to help. Many computer-geeks enjoy fixing broken systems, but do not abuse their services. Take the advice they give on preventing future problems. No one likes to fix something once just to see the problem come up again because the computer's owner does things that are dumb.

    If there really is a key-logger installed on your friend's system, he should expect that it includes a feature that e-mails any data that it collects to someone who can use it maliciously. Thus the importance of changing passwords mentioned above. Monitor bank statements closely for signs of fraud. Once the computer seems to be repaired, be sure not to use any of the old passwords, as the attacker may check back on the computer. I wouldn't expect this, as many of these shenanigans are done in an automated manner that requires very little effort from whoever is running it. It would likely be easier for them to just find another soft target.

    Ensure the operating system is updated regularly. Most software is eventually discovered to have flaws, and the maintainers of that software issue security updates. Much "hacking" that goes on these days is done by someone who uses well-known flaws to exploit systems that have not been updated. Since most people approach computer security in such a lax manner, it is always easy to find computers that have simple vulnerabilities. It is typically enough to make your system "harder" than the next guy's - just like your home, it doesn't have to be Fort Knox, it just has to be more trouble than it is worth.

    Avoid using wireless networking unless it is necessary and you have invested the time in learning how to make it secure. The vast majority of wireless networks are not secure.

    Remember that (Windows systems in particular) are set up biased more for ease-of-use than they are for security. People want plug-and-go operation, but this makes the system much easier to attack. A balance must be struck. Find out for yourself how much useability versus security you need.

    Few people go down the road without at least knowing how to change a tire - treat your computer the same way. You don't need to know how to rebuild an engine with your eyes closed, but you'd be irresponsible to change lanes without knowing what a turn-signal is. Ignorance towards computers will become at least as unreasonable as ignorance in operating a car. Take the time to learn a few things now and it will benefit you for the rest of your life.

    Good luck,
  3. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    ... you scaring me ...
  4. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Chris, that is probably the best response I have ever seen addressing security on a Windows based machine. Props to you my man! :)

    For a Windows system to be secure you have to take a hands on approach to it. You have to learn how things work and what you can do to fix the vulnerability.

    I run my system with IE and Outlook Express with no firewall, no anti-virus, and only one extra program. I also have configured the IE settings.

    I researched a lot to find out how to make my system safe without a bunch of programs and hassles. Since this setup I have only gotten a virus one time and that is when the .WMF exploit hit the web. I now have a fix for that and haven't had a problem since.
  5. trog


    Nov 8, 2003
    Wow, great post!

    I've quoted this for truth. Windows Update is your friend! Also, click me for free anti-virus software.
  6. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    If a key logger is installed on your system an anti-virus won't detect it because they look for viruses, anti-spyware programs may not detect it because it may not be spyware per say. If it was installed by someone it was done so as a legitimate program which means that it may be uninstalled. What I suggest since you're not technically savvy is simple save any data that you need, like song files, contacts, important documents and then reformat your drive and reinstall the operating system and any programs that you use from the original CD's.

    Key loggers need a place to put what they log and so there's always a file somewhere that has the information that it's capturing even if it's uploading to the internet. One way of detecting this is by checking for files that have been recently modified and monitoring them. Most of these files will be legitimate and you can always "google" for their extension to find out what program uses them.
  7. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    hey thanks a ton for all the great replies guys. I guess were gonna have to format both his computers hd's and reinstall the os, he's got zone alarm and stuff I gues its not enought though.
  8. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Do a google search on all the names of Key Logger programs and maybe see where they get installed. their programs are around and you could get info on what "processes" (Ctrl+Alt+Del, task manager) they are running which may look fishy and end that process for the time being. Check in the "Program Files" for wierd or different name (or names from the google search) to see if any folders match a key logger file, also you can go to Explorer and change the files to show hidden files, may be the key logger stuff will show up?

    Some names of Key Logger Programs:
    - Perfect KeyLogger (must pay for it, looks like a pain in the butt)
    - Home Keylogger (shows up in a Tray Icon, bottom right)
    - Family Keylogger (has a combo of key strokes, set by the installer to reveal the prgram)

    A lot of key logger programs send emails of the stuff right to the person who wants to snoop with all the text. They dont even need to be using the same computer
    There are also Hardware Keyloggers which I connect in between your keyboard and your PC.

    This girl seems like trouble, have your buddy seriously reconsider the whole relationship. there are more fish in the sea and the rest will most likely NOT snoop around like a detective...

    And when you re-format and all the good stuff, how about password protecting his PC? and not letting others use it.
  9. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    yeah she's definetly and Ex and he's not talking to her anymore. I always hated her but had to bite my tounge caue she didn't do anything to me. But now that she's messed around with my myspace and my email account its personal and if he's going to have anything to do with her he isn't having anything to do with me.
  10. how would you rate Lavasoft's Ad aware Se and microsoft's anti spyware? I've been using them for a while and have not detected anything yet.
  11. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    those are pretty good for your average stuff. won't do much when someone really malicious is after you. But most people don't have to worry about that lol.
  12. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Have you checked all your hardware connections? There are certainly hardware keyloggers available that do the same thing.
  13. morf

    morf Banned

    Feb 17, 2006
    Actually, I wouldnt recommend to upgrade the OS frequently, ESPECIALLY windows. The keylogger is moist certainly in form of software, your best bet is simply to format and reinstall your machine. Once thats done install a firewall and block outgoing connections which seem suspicious.

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