Keyloggers, also known as keystroke loggers, are a form of malware that can allow hackers to access your personal information and hijack your online accounts.
Keyloggers come in many forms, and they can end up on your Mac in a variety of ways, but for the most part they all share the same end purpose. The only reliable way to combat keyloggers and other malware is to use an anti-malware program, such as MacScan.
What are Keyloggers?
The basic function of a keylogger is to monitor the input from the keyboard of the infected system. This can be accomplished in a number of ways. Keyloggers can be as simple as programs that exclusively record web form submissions or simply take screenshots of the user’s activity, to apps that dupe the operating system into thinking that they’re legitimately monitoring keystrokes for a user-focused purpose, to complex tools that directly access your hardware, sometimes by acting like a keyboard driver, to intercept user input as it travels between software and the operating system.
As keystroke information is collected, it can be sent to other locations without the user’s knowledge. The data may be uploaded directly to a website or FTP account, or emailed to the hacker. Alternatively, a keylogger may allow the hacker to remotely access the keystroke information stored on the user’s hard drive, so that it doesn’t even have to be sent out.
How are Keyloggers Harmful?
If you have a keylogger on your machine, any data you input through your keyboard can be accessed by hackers. This includes usernames and passwords for your online accounts as well as the content of any personal or work-related emails, word processor files or spreadsheets that you create. The damage that can be done by hackers with access to this information is significant; in the worst-case scenario, a keylogger can give hackers the information they need to steal your identity and cause all the inconvenience and heartache that comes with that.
What Can I Do About Keyloggers?
Keyloggers can find their way onto your Mac system in a number of ways, so the only way to be sure that you’re protected against them is to have a strong anti-malware program installed. One of the most highly recommended anti-malware apps for Mac is MacScan, by SecureMac. MacScan will allow you to scan your system for spyware, including keyloggers.
If you do have any keyloggers on your system, MacScan will find and remove them safely. It will also detect any incoming threats, preventing keyloggers from getting on your machine in the first place. This is your best defence against the serious threat posed by keyloggers.
Here are some examples of keystroke loggers that currently work on the Mac platform.
Aobo Mac OS X Keylogger
Aobo Mac OS X Keylogger, currently at version 3.2, is one of the most powerful commercial keyloggers available. It can monitor keystrokes in all Mac applications as well as any Windows apps run through virtualization software like Parallels and VMware Fusion. It supports email and FTP transfers, meaning that the user’s personal information can easily be accessed from a remote location.
Spector Pro 2009
Spector Pro 2009 is another keystroke logger ostensibly aimed at parents and employers who would like to keep tabs on what their children or employees are doing on their Mac computers. This keylogger is especially dangerous because it can automatically record screenshots at regular intervals, which means that the hacker can not only see users’ keystrokes, but also their activities in their entirety.
BlazingTools Perfect Keylogger
BlazingTools Perfect Keylogger is perhaps the most powerful keystroke logger currently on the Mac platform. It monitors all keystrokes in all Mac and Windows applications, incoming and outgoing instant messages, and web browsing history, among other things. It can also send logged information out via email or FTP, and it does a good job of hiding on your system. It can be installed in any folder, alongside any other application, and usually can’t be found by normal means.
Refog Keylogger is a small, versatile keystroke logger with a feature list similar to most of the other commercial keyloggers. It can run in either visible or invisible mode, and although it’s unthinkable that malicious users would use the visible option, this gives Refog Keylogger a veneer of legitimacy that belies its spyware capabilities.
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