Washington Post: Keylogging Software Rampant

Speaking of not leaving things as the are, the Washington
Post has
a chilling story
of how stealth keylogging software is becoming the pervasive. Formerly, viruses would simply cause problems
with your computer. For example, they might delete files or
pop-up ads, but bad as that is, the keyloggers are designed
to surreptitiously record your login names and passwords. So,
if you do online banking, buy anything via the Internet, or
access any site that requires logging in, these program will
capture the information required to login in. This
information is then aggregated by country, and sold to the
highest bidder. These people would in turn use the
information to steal from you.

This is capitalism at its worst. The economic incentive to
gather this information is so great that organized crime may
now be involved.

But how to stop it? As with any computer security, it
comes down to a layered defense. Keep your operating system
and applications up-to-date. Use and update anti-virus and
anti-spyware software (and be sure it is operating since the
key loggers turn off these programs). Use a firewall that
tracks outgoing as well as incoming traffic. I believe there
is also a role for government to play. Law enforcement
agencies world wide must work to identify the people behind
these programs and put them in jail for a long, long
time.

But having done all that, it’s still possible to get
infected because, as the story points out, trusted sites –
like your business partners or places where you buy products
via the Internet have been hacked. Thus, by simply visiting
these trusted sites, you can become infected. It could be
your bank, your favorite news or search site. In fact, almost
any site that many people go to could be the source of
infection.

That said, does that mean you shouldn’t ever go on the
Internet? You know, a year ago I would say the benefits
outweighed the costs. But now, I’m not so sure. YMMV. Inset
disclaimer here.

Have a Great Weekend, Everyone –
Aloha!

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One response to “Washington Post: Keylogging Software Rampant

  1. Actually it’s a good sign.
    By making it f*** simple and user-friendly these hacking tools find their way in the script-kiddy community. And those people are too idiotic to be carefull and are getting caught. They spoil the environment for the real hackers (and the real criminals).
    Of course this is an incentive for the real hackers to move on to newer, even more obnoxious hacks.

    So. Don’t use IE. Make sure your firewall blocks and logs trafic both-ways (and don’t foget to check the logs). And check all bankslips. And change passwords regulary. All pretty standard behavior.