Posts Tagged ‘keyloggers’

Adding A Keylogger To Norton Anti-virus Exceptions

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Even if the keylogger works well without being added, and your anti-virus doesn’t detect it, it’s always wise to add the keylogger to the exceptions list anyway. This ensures that the keylogger or computer monitoring software doesn’t get detected at a later date unexpectedly, which could happen when Norton Anti-virus updates it’s definitions.

Adding any program to Norton’s exceptions is quick and easy, but could vary slightly depending on what version of Norton you have installed on your machine. With a bit of common sense, it’s very easy to do.

Presuming you have Norton 2008 installed, follow these simple steps:

  1. Within the Norton Anti-virus user interface click the settings link, next to the Computer category.
  1. Look for the category that says ‘Exclusions/Low Risks”.
  1. Click ‘Configure’ which is next to scan exclusions.
  1. Click ‘Add’ and browse to the folder that contains the program you want excluded, usually within the Program Files directory.
  1. Click ‘Apply’ followed by ‘OK’ and you’re done.

 

NOTE: Gecko Monitor is not located in the Program Files directory. Browse to and add the following folder to add Gecko Monitor to Norton’s exceptions:

 If using 64bit Windows:
C: > Windows > SysWOW64 > Catroot > {GEC0AA…

Or if using 32bit Windows:
C: > Windows > System32 > Catroot > {GEC0AA…

If you have AVG and want to achieve the same results head here

You can download a trial of Gecko Monitor by heading here

 

 

Are Keyloggers Safe To Use?

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

There’s a lot of negatively terminology associated with the term ‘keylogger’ and if you’re one of those people who actually needs to use one, it may be causing you concern. Are they or aren’t they safe to use? The short answer: yes, they are. But before I explain why, a short and very boring history lesson…

The term keylogger comes from the days of Microsoft DOS, when typing was the only thing you could do on a computer. Before you could use a mouse, DOS was the operating system of choice, and what you could do with it was limited. If you wanted to monitor a computer running DOS the only thing you’d need to watch is the keystrokes, to get a full picture of what was being done on that computer – hence ‘keylogger’.

Mircrosoft DOS

Now, at first these programs were used in a non-malicious way but hackers soon realised that they could use them to intercept and acquire sensitive information. Credit card numbers and passwords were the main catch, but they’d still need to be passed on and the keylogger would still need to be some how installed on the target system.

Fast forward a few years to the inception of Microsoft Windows and a few things happened that caused the situation to advance. First, the use of the mouse meant that now keystrokes didn’t reveal the entire picture, and second, the internet making an entry into the home meant hackers had a new way to access our lives and steal information.

At this point keyloggers went in two separate directions. In one direction, people who wanted to use them legitimately incorporated all the new features into them that would be necessary for monitoring a Windows computer (screenshots, websites, applications, etc). At this point the term keylogger became slightly outdated so they started being referred to as ‘Computer Monitoring Software’. These programs are very safe to use and are used in a whole range of situations; from monitoring the kids computer, to monitoring the office network.

The second direction was the one hackers went in. They’d incorporate keyloggers into viruses, that would infect your computer in a number of ways, hijack your passwords and/or card numbers then send this information back to the hacker via the internet. One example of how this would work would be hackers sending out millions of spam emails to random addresses with links in, when someone who isn’t particularly computer savvy clicks on a link the virus automatically downloads, infects the computer and starts running.

computer virus

But as internet security has improved, the above scenario has become harder and harder to implement. In today’s world, Windows internet security and anti-virus software combined makes it tough for hackers to work in this way, making keyloggers within viruses of this nature very rare.

To cut a long story short: Computer Monitoring Software is very safe to use, and there are plenty of large, popular companies out there that supply it. Keylogger Viruses, are not, but this isn’t something you’d search out and download yourself anyway, it would be a very unlucky chance encounter, just like with any other virus.

Of course, you may think we’re slightly biased! Considering we have our very own Computer Monitoring Software. To check out a free trial of Gecko Monitor click here

Using a Keylogger as a Backup Tool

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Because keylogger programs virtually detect and store every stroke, site, instant message and email that was sent on a personal computer, it also makes for an astounding (and in some cases a saving grace) backup tool for your system.

There are many different keylogging programs and most of them allow you to monitor all the activity that goes on within your PC. Some of the software and hardware will take screenshots, track emails and instant messages, record any passwords that were used and some of the more sophisticated programs even have the ability to record the microphone activity that happened on that computer. They will also work in the event that a virus makes it way into your system and destroys the memory and encrypted information.

In cases where your system may crash, having a keylogging system that has a detailed record of all your data is a good thing. Most of the hardware and software programs now come equipped with text editors. These are nifty components built right within the hardware that will automatically create backup copies of documents that you create on your computer. Therefore in instances where you are maybe working on a research paper or business proposal and accidentally click out of your document that you forgot to save, the program has automatically been recording every key stroke and has a hard copy saved for you.

Additionally, many USB keylogger programs will save your web browsing activities and also remember and recall any sites that you have visited or searches you have entered into the web. This is handy when you need to recall some research and forgot to write down the website. Or if you are one that likes to join or subscribe to pages and blogs, but have a short memory for all those passwords, keylogging programs will also keep a steady record of all the passwords to those accounts.

Backing up

The purpose of these programs is less about spying and more about logging your applications. The software will communicate to the hardware on the PC not only password information, but it also has the ability to recall and record the titles of their windows, along with every keystroke you made to get there.

With these programs the concern that you will lose any text at all is virtually non-existent. There are functions included referred to as email clients which will keep track of any emails you send or will also keep track of your drafts. It is necessary at times to be able to have the ability to copy and paste fragments of partial texts from a website you are on and these programs can also help you do that.

The clipboard functions are also a great addition because they allow the user to copy one piece text from your board at one time instead of the entire text as a whole. You can then copy only the information you want or need to your Windows clipboard and the program will store it and make a backup copy that you can refer to at a later date or if and when you lose or crash a system.

Backing Up Your Logs

With many of the keylogger programs backing up your logs is simple. Generally the program will give you detailed instructions on how to do so and it almost always consists of burning your log into a log folder or burning the information onto a CD or USB. In some cases you can burn or save it directly to the hard drive.  Take a look at our free trial of Gecko Monitor to see how we could help you with your backing up needs.

Are Keyloggers Legal? Or Illegal?

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

There is much heated debate about the utilization of keyloggers and with so many individuals using them to track cheating spouses as well as companies using them to monitor employees behaviors and production, those for an against them being legal all have seemingly valid arguments. However, the question that needs to be answered has nothing to do with morality; it has to do with defining what the law states in regards to their use, as this is the only evidence that will be deemed acceptable should one choose to take a stance with a partner or employer.

The biggest contention for those who oppose these software programs is that on a large scale they do invade one’s privacy. Unfortunately many of the laws surrounding electronic devices do not have specific limitations or restrictions for using them and therefore, keyloggers are still considered legal in many parts of the United States and elsewhere in the world.

legal or illegal

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA)

In 1986 Congress passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act as a way for the public at large to be able to keep their private information safe while at the same time allowing government agencies the license to monitor and record wiretaps, telephone calls and electronic data. The idea behind this act was to offer a balance between the privacy rights of citizens and to also allow the federal government to gain access to information relating to criminal and unlawful activity.

Since its initial passing, more acts have been passed in an effort to narrow the scope and better define what this act does and does not allow. Such amendments include the Federal Wiretap Act (FWA) and the Stored Communication Act (SCA). Neither of those acts includes making keyloggers illegal either.

Why it’s Still Legal to Use Keyloggers

Much of the confusion and discrepancies surrounding keyloggers comes down to how the acts are interpreted by the general public and the court systems. Even the federal government can’t agree on where the line should be drawn as far as what defines infringing upon one’s privacy rights. Most recently many court systems have attempted to interpret the protective acts in such a way that allowing the general public’s key strokes to be monitored should be seen as being unconstitutional and a definitive invasion of privacy.

The blatant conflict within defining these acts continues to cause a conundrum across the globe and in addition continues to cause conflict between employees and employers because the lines remain blurred, and the definitions and interpretations unclear. Many employees violently oppose employers spying on what they are doing even during work hours and feel that keyloggers are unlawful.

Because someone who installs keylogger software must have administrative rights on the system that it is being installed on, this gives them full access and license to do so as they see fit. Because employers can argue that there are legitimate reasons as to why activity on a computer needs to be monitored and surveyed, the practice of utilizing them is deemed as legal and in many cases, necessary. Companies have the right to protect their personal assets and information from being misused and shared and thus, using that argument alone will bypass any one employee from arguing that it is an invasion of privacy.

On an individual level, many parents utilize this software as a way to protect their children when they are online, which again is legal and recommended by people and professionals across the board. For the most part, those who use keylogger programs are doing so in a lawful and ethical way. The flipside is that with this software, there are many unethical and unlawful uses as well. Criminals are able to gain access to personal information, passwords and bank account information and therein lies the issues with those that are opposed to such software programs.

Canada Law and Keylogger Software

Much like the US Canada also have a Privacy Act that is in place and also like the US, their Privacy Act is written with many gray areas, making keylogger software definitely legal for private homes and employers. With the current acts and laws, as long as the person who installed the keylogger program is the owner of the computer or device that the software is being installed on, they have full and legal rights to utilize such software.

The laws and regulations become less arduous when individuals who are not owners of the computers or devices attempt to use them. If for example an ex-spouse or partner installs it on a computer or device without that person’s knowledge, a law suit can be filed and many have been brought up on criminal charges for doing so. In these instances it is because the installer is not the owner of the device and therefore infringes upon the computer owner’s privacy.

UK Laws and Keylogger Software

AS previously discussed, the laws and privacy acts also state that it is legal in the UK for individuals and companies to utilize keylogger software on any computer that they rightfully own. Many companies in the UK have a disclaimer in their employee manuals that specifically states that they have the right to monitor all employee activity in the case of suspicion and otherwise.

It is illegal only in instances where the information obtained is used in an unlawful way, for example as a way to collect passwords or using bank account information in an effort to steal personal funds.

If you’d like to download a free trial of Gecko Monitor, head to our homepage here.