What is a keylogger? How attackers can monitor everything you type

Keystroke logging software is one of the oldest forms of malware, dating back to typewriters. It's still popular and often used as part of larger cyber attacks.

Keylogger definition

Keyloggers are a type of monitoring software designed to record keystrokes made by a user. One of the oldest forms of cyber threat, these keystroke loggers record the information you type into a website or application and send to back to a third party.

Criminals use keyloggers to steal personal or financial information such as banking details, which they can then sell or use for profit. However, they also have legitimate uses within businesses to troubleshoot, improve user experience, or monitor employees. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies also uses keylogging for surveillance purposes.

How do keyloggers work?

Keyloggers collect information and send it back to a third party – whether that is a criminal, law enforcement or IT department. “Keyloggers are software programs that leverage algorithms that monitor keyboard strokes through pattern recognition and other techniques,” explains Tom Bain, vice president security strategy at Morphisec.

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