May 23, 2007

The Art of Keylogging

I found a juicy little application yesterday, that I'm sure you all will like, or at least be somewhat interested in. There are many things you can do with such a utility, mostly subversive, but also morally sound. Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that In some states (and some countries, for my international readers) use of such software may be illegal. I do not encourage or condone the use of any software in violation of applicable laws. Please check your local laws before use of this software.

With that out of the way, let me give you some scenarios to think about:

Scenario One: You have a teenage daughter around the age of 13. She has lied about her age, and signed herself up on Myspace and is absolutely obsessed with maximizing her friend quantity. She is adding everyone in sight as her friend, when she adds Joe Predator as her buddy. Joe Predator is a 40 year old software developer looking for some underage action (See Dateline's to catch a Predator). He starts chatting your daughter up, and telling her how pretty she is. She, being the naïve, and impressionable young lady that most teenage girls are falls for Joe's wit and charm hook, line and sinker. The next thing you know she schedules a meeting with Joe, and becomes an unfortunate victim.

Scenario Two: You've been happily married for seven years. All of a sudden though, over the last few months, your spouse has been working late every night. He/ She says not to worry, it's just because there is a new "project" they are working on that requires the extra hours. You have also noticed that they are spending an unusual amount of time on the computer and online chat rooms, places that they never went to before. Another month passes by, and all of a sudden, your spouse leaves you and your children for someone else. The person they have been cheating on you with. The person they met using an online dating service.

Scenario Three: You are a hacker, and you need to obtain someone's password in order to crack their account. I think you know where I'm going with this one...

Well, the juicy little program I found yesterday can help you with one or all three of the above scenarios. It is what is known in the business as a keylogger. Just as the name suggests, it will log all keystrokes on a computer for you to review later. With this you can see what websites they are going to, what programs they are using, wheat e-mails they are typing, who they are emailing, who they are chatting with and of course, what passwords they are using.

The program I am recommending for this today is called Actual Keylogger 2.4 and is absolutely free. It runs in the background so no one knows it is recording keystrokes. It saves all information in an encrypted log file that only you can access using a password. Only the person with the password can decrypt the log. You can also hide the program in the program's settings, by removing shortcuts from the desktop, program menu, removing it from add or remove programs, and even hiding the program folder itself.

For home users it will be easy to install. For users at work, it might not be so easy if you don't have administrator right, but as I mentioned before, there are ways to get those rights. You may also have to disable antivirus or antispyware software in order to use it, or at least set the programs to ignore it so it doesn't tip off the mark.

It really is a cool little program, certainly has it's uses. If you had it on your computer for the scenarios above, you could monitor your teenage daughter's online activities, catch your spouse cheating, or obtain the secret password so you can hack into the Gibson!

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