James O'Neill's blog

Windows Platform, Virtualization and PowerShell with a little Photography for good measure.

One of those "Oh no" moments

One of those "Oh no" moments

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Someone was asking me about gadgets, and went off looking for something and turned up a page at Gadgets.co.uk innocently in a corner is something which you'd expect to find in Q's lab in a James Bond movie, but not in the "Amuse your friends by plugging into their PC" aisle. A key logger.

KeyShark is a small external device, looking like and [sic] adapter plugged into keyboard socket
"Installation takes just seconds, and the KeyShark starts to record automatically."
"With enough capacity to store half a million characters (key presses), it can quietly record the average computer user for many months and still have memory to spare."

I knew these things existed, but it came as a shock to find they're this freely available. At £49 each you can see a whole new generation of fraudsters buying a gross of them, and running round all the local cybercafes.

  • To make matters worse, many of the devices can "phone home" by emailing the results to whoever you configure - hence you can leave such devices hidden away behind machines in less well run establishments and not even bother having to return

  • Although I'm a right by saying Vista has a solution for this issue by having communications between input deives such as keyboards encrypted or something to that effect?

    I'm pretty sure I heard that at some event I was at several months ago.....or I could be dreaming it all up.

  • Not that I'm aware of. This is transparent to the OS, and I didn't think standard PC keyboards don't have the abilty to encypt. Possibly bluetooth ones can ...  

  • Ich verwende keine öffentlich PC´s um meine Firmen E-Mails abzurufen. Bestenfalls um ein paar Informations

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