Walnut Creek, CA (PRWEB) December 11, 2013
The Identity Theft Council is warning consumers and businesses to be aware of the menace of keyloggers, over the Christmas holidays and beyond. In the aftermath of the recent discovery of more than two million stolen passwords on a hacker server, the prime suspect in the incident was initially a keylogger.
A keylogger is a piece of malware designed to capture things like bank and email passwords as you type them. In the same week that global media were discussing the discovery of the two million hacked passwords, a San Francisco-based security firm announced that when they tested 44 of the most popular antivirus programs on the market, for two full weeks, only one was able to detect the existence of a keylogger.
“I think what most in the media missed in the hacked passwords story is how little consumers and small businesses actually know about the danger of keyloggers”, said Neal O’Farrell, founder of the Identity Theft Council and one of the world’s most experienced personal security experts. “If the research is right, consumers who simply rely on antivirus software to protect against keyloggers could be extremely vulnerable.”
Keyloggers are most often used to steal logins and passwords, but they can also capture screenshots of what’s on a user’s computer, screenshots of the websites visited and folders opened, and even searches. There are also hardware keyloggers, designed to look like a plug or connector you’d expect to find at the back of a computer or even a cash register. One such keylogger was recently found plugged into a cash register at a Nordstrom store.
Using a touch-screen may not help you avoid keyloggers. It’s still a keyboard sending signals that can be intercepted, and good keyloggers will record your screen activity anyway. And if you use public computers, like at a library, you could be especially vulnerable. Library computers are a very popular watering hole for keyloggers because they generally have many different users, public access, poor security, and little supervision.
"Keyloggers can easily be used to commit identity theft, steal personal information, and break into bank accounts," said Mr. O'Farrell "And they don't usually have to worry about being caught - until it's too late."
So what’s the key to avoiding keyloggers? It’s all about good security habits:
About the Identity Theft Council
The Identity Theft Council is an award-winning non-profit that provides free support to victims of identity theft, free training for law enforcement, and community outreach and education. The Council was the first non-profit to win the prestigious SC Magazine Editor’s Choice Award, joining previous recipients like the NSA and SANS Institute. Partners in the Council include the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Independent Community Bankers of America, the Online Trust Alliance, and the Identity Theft Resource Center. The Council is based in Walnut Creek, California, America’s first Cyber Secure City. For more information, please visit http://www.identitytheftcouncil.org.