Keyloggers are nasty programs that keep track of everything you type on a computer. It’s one way someone could spy on everything you do, and how hackers could steal your login credentials for various online services. In short, nobody wants keyloggers on their computers.
That’s why you have to act fast and remove the dormant keylogger that’s currently sleeping peacefully inside your HP laptop.
A security researcher found while poking around the internals of a driver for a touchpad commonly used on HP notebook computers—a keystroke logger that could be turned on with a simple change to its configuration in the Windows registry.
The logger, which could potentially be leveraged by an attacker or malware to harvest login credentials and other data, was discovered lurking within driver software for the Synaptics touchpads—used by hundreds of HP and Compaq business and consumer notebook computer models, as well as many other Windows notebook computers from other manufacturers. Once turned on, it captures keystrokes and generates a trace log file.
The program is not spying on you presently unless someone activated it. It comes preinstalled on more than 460 HP machines, and it’s deactivated by default. And yes, it looks very much like a built-in way of spying on people.
While it seems that the code’s inclusion was accidental, it’s still not a good look for HP, given that the manufacturer was found earlier this year to be using Conexant audio drivers that also contained a keystroke logger.
HP computer owners out there will probably want to check out HP’s support document at the link below, and apply the patch that removes the keylogger.