The Unseen Identity Theft - Part 4

How keyloggers spread

Keyloggers spread in much the same way that other malicious programs spread. Excluding cases where keyloggers are purchased and installed by a jealous spouse or partner, and the use of keyloggers by security services, keyloggers are mostly spread using the following methods):

  • a keylogger can be installed when a user opens a file attached to an email;
  • a keylogger can be installed when a file is launched from an open-access directory on a P2P network;
  • a keylogger can be installed via a web page script which exploits a browser vulnerability. The program will automatically be launched when a user visits a infected site;
  • a keylogger can be installed by another malicious program already present on the victim machine, if the program is capable of downloading and installing other malware to the system.

How to protect yourself from keyloggers

Most antivirus companies have already added known keyloggers to their databases, making protecting against keyloggers no different from protecting against other types of malicious program: install an antivirus product and keep its database up to date. However, since most antivirus products classify keyloggers as potentially malicious, or potentially undesirable programs, users should ensure that their antivirus product will, with default settings, detect this type of malware. If not, then the product should be configured accordingly, to ensure protection against most common keyloggers.

Let's take a closer look at the methods that can be used to protect against unknown keyloggers or a keylogger designed to target a specific system.

Since the chief purpose of keyloggers is to get confidential data (bank card numbers, passwords, etc.), the most logical ways to protect against unknown keyloggers are as follows:

  1. using one-time passwords or two-step authentication,
  2. using a system with proactive protection designed to detect keylogging software,
  3. using a virtual keyboard

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

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