Thursday, October 27, 2016

Concept of keylogger

Introduction to Keylogger 

If you are familiar with Computer Hacking Culture, you probably would have listen about the Term "Keylogger". Well Today in this article we will discuss this topic in detail. If you are new in the computer world, you must be thinking about two things right now:
  • What is Computer Hacking
  • What is Key Logger

Well, If you want to know about computer hacking please refer to my another article "Introduction to Computer Hacking". 

Let's talk about the main topic for now i.e. Keylogger. Well I will answer this question in a minute, I am saying this because  to understand what keylogger is one must understand its basic and logic first.

I am assuming that you already know the working of keyboard and its basic design also.

Ok, Let's begin......

We all know that every keyboard has a combination 5 types of keys:

  •  Function Keys
  • Numeric Keys
  • Alphabetical Keys
  •  Arithmetic  Keys
  • Special Keys

All these keys performs their own defined function when pressed. For Example : When you press "A" Key from the keyboard, the letter "A" is printed on the screen similarly with all the remaining keys.

This was the basic detail. In order to know the exact meaning and working of Keylogger we need to have depth knowledge of working of these keys.

Working of Keyboard Keys

You must be thinking that why I am talking about Keyboards so much , Well wait for a while you will get your answer. So, !!  are you ready to take a dive in technical ocean!!! 

First thing you need to know that computer recognize a different language than we humans do, I mean to say that Computer does not know English language or any other language it converts the human understandable language to the computer understandable form and it is called Hi level language conversion to Low Level Language Conversion.

  •  Hi Level Language is a language that is understandable by us Human Beings. For Eg. English, Hindi etc.
  • Low Level Language is a language that computer understands i.e.  Binary Language or machine language.

You must be thinking that then why letters on keyboard keys are always Printed in Hi Level Language and what is binary language and what is the need for conversion. Well, I will answer these questions of yours one by one.

  1.  If English is a human's language than Binary is a digital circuit's language. In Binary language for example The letter A is written as "01000001" and our human mind is not very good with numbers i mean to say that human mind can process alphabet more efficiently than numbers and to prove that let's take an example of letter  "A" Just close your eyes and think about letter "A" in your mind your mind will start guessing things that starts with "letter A" like an apple, or someone's name that starts with "A" example Aryan etc. it's like Google search you type something in search box and Google starts guessing things on the basis of your query. Now, Similarly Picture a number  "1" in your mind like the same way you did earlier with letter "A" you will see nothing will come into your mind. 
  2. So, This activity tells us that our mind is good with letter but not numbers and this is the reason why all the website addresses are in English language and all the keys have English or hi level language printed on our keyboard.
  3. Binary Language as i discussed before is a digital circuit's language. All the digital circuits operates on binary or machine language or Low level Language. To know more about Binary Language Please check this article.

Now, We have enough knowledge to understand the working and concept of Key logger. Now, i will answer your much awaited question.

What is Key logger

In simple language, key logger is a kind of malicious software which is used by cyber criminals to capture the victim's key strokes and save them in a secret file and then send it to the owned through a particular medium.

Working of Key logger

Suppose you are an internet banker. You make huge transactions from one bank to another in the whole day . In order to make those transactions you will have to login to your bank account online i.e. if you have your correct Login Credentials only then you will be able to manage your transactions. That means if someone knows your login credentials he/she can make transactions from your account too. 

So, the basic concept of key logging is to steal this kind of curtail information from the victim without letting them know.

A computer infected with key logger captures all the key strokes that are made by the victim from the keyboard of that particular computer in binary form and stores them in a secret storage and then sent it to the cyber criminal who created it  through internet or by other mean. 

Key Logger In your System

If key logger is installed in your system your system will start showing some of the common symptoms .

  • Delayed System Booting or starting
  • Frequent Hangs
  •  Sudden Screen flashing after particular interval of time
  •  Slow Processing
  • Delay in displaying the character after pressing key from the key board. etc.

Now, You must be thinking that how key logger sends information to the Cyber Criminal! well, if you want to know that you must have the basic knowledge of computer networks.

Computer Networks

Well, if you search on internet you will get plenty of knowledge about Computer Networks. In simple Words when two or more computers or devices connected together in order to share information through a medium is called computer networking and that "medium" is called  computer network and that medium can be anything wired or wireless or combination of both. 

It is a vast concept and will be discussed in other article, for now we will be focusing on the role of network in key logger concept.

Role of Computer Network in Key logger Concept

Key logger always works on the concept of Server Client Model of network topology i.e. a cyber criminal installs the key logger's server in his/her system and configures it to listen to a particular connection  and in same way  he/she also configures the client key logger to  send data to that particular connection silently via Computer Network.  

Modern Keylogger have become very handy and intelligent. Some of the key logger comes with automated configuration and provides the functionality of not logging the key strokes only but capturing screenshot of current window , recording voice calls and even recording net traffic also. and send the interval reports through emails also.

How it Happens

Now, Let's talk about how key logger gets into your system.

Simply, Creating or configuring key logger is easy as compared to fooling the Victim to install it on their system.  Cyber Criminal sends keylogger  through:

  •  Malicious websites
  • Patching Them in Popular Applications and upload them on the un verified websites or torrent websites or cracks or patches of Cracked Software.
  •  Malicious Advertisements
  • Through Network or Email Link.
  • Through Portable Media or Manual Installation.

Protection Measures

Yes, It is True you can also protect yourself from this kind of threats. 

  •   Update Your Operating System regularly
  •   Configure or Check your Firewall
  •   Install Internet Security Suits and Update them regularly.
  •   Do not Download Things from un trusted Source
  •   Do not click on annoying adds while surfing from un trusted source
  •   Do not Download Cracked Software
  •   Do not Download Data from Torrent Sites with making Security Measures
  •   Do not Open unknown Emails and Download attachments. Always scan before Download.

While entering critical information like login Credentials on internet  always use Virtual Keyboards because keylogger can only steal key strokes but there is no key logger is available till date which can capture mouse movements .

Things To Know

Keylogger are not only used for malicious purpose but their form of Software Key logger is used by Employers to keep an eye on their employees  to see what they are doing and these kind of keylogger are commercially available on internet.

Important Information

Keyloggers are or two types :

  •  Software Keylogger
  •  Hardware Keylogger

I have told you about software keylogger. however, Hardware Keylogger are difficult to detect in case if they are embedded in the chip of a component. But Normally they look like a USB Pen drive which can be connected in the USB Port and USB Keyboard than connected to that key logger. While Using Computer in Cyber Cafe, an intelligent person will check the USB port of keyboard to see if its directly attached to the mother board or not. if its attached directly then you can use internet on that system. 

Software Keylogger can be detected manually also. We are working on a video tutorial soon it will be uploaded on our you tube channel and shared on our social media profiles including our blog.

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