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Title: Anti-keylogger  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Malware, Surveillance, Spyware, Intrusion detection system, Man-in-the-middle attack
Collection: Computer Security Software, Surveillance
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


An anti-keylogger (or anti–keystroke logger) is a type of software specifically designed for the detection of keystroke logger software; often, such software will also incorporate the ability to delete or at least immobilize hidden keystroke logger software on your computer. In comparison to most anti-virus or anti-spyware software, the primary difference is that an anti-keylogger does not make a distinction between a legitimate keystroke-logging program and an illegitimate keystroke-logging program (such as malware); all keystroke-logging programs are flagged and optionally removed, whether they appear to be legitimate keystroke-logging software or not.


  • Use of anti-keyloggers 1
    • Public computers 1.1
    • Gaming usage 1.2
    • Financial institutions 1.3
    • Personal use 1.4
  • Types 2
    • Signature-based 2.1
    • Heuristic analysis 2.2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Use of anti-keyloggers

Keyloggers are sometimes part of malware packages downloaded onto computers without the owners' knowledge. Detecting the presence of a keylogger on a computer can be difficult. So-called anti- keylogging programs have been developed to thwart keylogging systems, and these are often effective when used properly.

Anti-keyloggers are used both by large organizations as well as individuals in order to scan for and remove (or in some cases simply immobilize) keystroke logging software on your computer. It is generally advised the software developers that anti-keylogging scans be run on a regular basis in order to reduce the amount of time during which a keylogger may record your keystrokes; for example, if you scan your system once every three days, there is a maximum of only three days during which a keylogger could be hidden on your computer and recording your keystrokes.

Public computers

Public computers are extremely susceptible to the installation of keystroke logging software and hardware, and there are documented instances of this occurring.[1] Public computers are particularly susceptible to keyloggers because any number of people can gain access to the machine and install both a hardware keylogger and a software keylogger, either or both of which can be secretly installed in a matter of minutes.[2] Anti-keyloggers are often used on a daily basis to ensure that public computers are not infected with keyloggers, and are safe for public use.

Gaming usage

Keyloggers have been prevalent in the online gaming industry, being used to log steal which are then used to hack a user's gaming account online; of particular importance has been World of Warcraft, which has been the target of numerous keylogging viruses. Anti-keyloggers are used by many World of Warcraft and other gaming community members in order to keep their gaming accounts secure.

Financial institutions

Financial institutions have become the target of keyloggers,[3] particularly those institutions which do not use advanced security features such as PIN pads or screen keyboards.[4] Anti-keyloggers are used to run regular scans of any computer on which banking or client information is accessed, protecting passwords, banking information, and credit card numbers from identity thieves.

Personal use

The most common use of an anti-keylogger is by individuals wishing to protect their privacy while using their computer; uses range from protecting financial information used in online banking, any passwords, personal communication, and virtually any other information which may be typed into your computer. Keyloggers are often installed by people you know, and many times have been installed by an ex-partner hoping to spy on their ex-partner's activities (particularly chat).[5]



This type of software has a signature base, which has the list of all the known keyloggers, each time you run 'System Scan' this software looks for the items from its list on your hard disk drive. This type of software is a rather widespread one, but it has its own drawbacks The biggest drawback of signature-based anti-keyloggers is that, while using them you can only be sure that you are protected only from keyloggers from your signature-base list, thus staying absolutely vulnerable to other keyloggers. Thus a criminal can download one of many famous keyloggers, change it and your anti-keylogger won't recognize it.

Heuristic analysis

This software doesn't use signature bases, it analyzes the methods of work of all the modules in your PC, thus blocking the work of all the keyloggers. Though this method gives better keylogging protection than signature-based anti-keyloggers, it has its own drawbacks. One of them is that this type of software blocks non-keyloggers also. The thing is that many 'non-harmful' software modules include processes which are peculiar to keyloggers. They do not send received information and are absolutely safe for the user. Usually all the non signature-based keyloggers have the option to unblock all the modules, but they can cause difficulties among inexperienced users.

See also


  1. ^ SC Magazine . Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Anti Keylogging & Public Computers". Anti Keylogging & Public Computers. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Cyber threat landscape faced by financial and insurance industry". Dr Kim-Kwang Raymond Choo. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Privacy Watch: More Criminals Use Keystroke Loggers". Privacy Watch: More Criminals Use Keystroke Loggers. PC World About. 
  5. ^ "Is someone you know spying on you?". USA Today. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 

External links

  • MacScan for Mac OS X Keystroke Logger Detection
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