Posts Tagged ‘keystroke loggers’


Once upon a time, this is no fairy tale, as in 10 years ago, which I know represents eons in computer world,
poor me- I had 1200 yes – count ‘em -1200 viruses ( Trojans – and assorted malware ) that had hijacked my poor- underpowered -pathetically cheap Emachine computer.
My machine started acting “funny” – not as in humor.

My poor, cheap Emachine,  ( which is now owned by GATEWAY ) became unresponsive- then fine for a few minutes; then suddenly, it would freeze- then the letters on my screen would become  HUGE- my entire screen was a GIANT capital E with a font size maybe 30.

My computer was acting like the Exorcist- it did all the strange things but going head  awhirl.
Anyway-having a relative in computer security systems helped me; he traced the infection back to a “prankster hacker “ a demonic  teenager in Hong Kong.
After this disaster- I am very sensitive to  Computer Security- and as a lot of us hear these terms but not REALLY know what it means, I  thought you might find it find this helpful.
Stay safe on that information highway. As in ..


During the 1980s and 1990s, it was usually taken for granted that malicious programs were created as a form of vandalism or prank. More recently, the greater share of malware programs have been written with a profit motive (financial or otherwise) in mind. This can be taken as the malware authors’ choice to monetize their control over infected systems: to turn that control into a source of revenue.

Spyware programs are commercially produced for the purpose of gathering information about computer users, showing them pop-up ads, or altering web-browser behavior for the financial benefit of the spyware creator. For instance, some spyware programs redirect search engine results to paid advertisements. Others, often called “stealware” by the media, overwrite affiliate marketing codes so that revenue is redirected to the spyware creator rather than the intended recipient.

Spyware programs are sometimes installed as Trojan horses of one sort or another. They differ in that their creators present themselves openly as businesses, for instance by selling advertising space on the pop-ups created by the malware. Most such programs present the user with an end-user license agreement that purportedly protects the creator from prosecution under computer contaminant laws. However, spyware EULAs have not yet been upheld in court.

Another way that financially motivated malware creators can profit from their infections is to directly use the infected computers to do work for the creator. The infected computers are used as proxies to send out spam messages. A computer left in this state is often known as a zombie computer. The advantage to spammers of using infected computers is they provide anonymity, protecting the spammer from prosecution. Spammers have also used infected PCs to target anti-spam organizations with distributed denial-of-service attacks.

In order to coordinate the activity of many infected computers, attackers have used coordinating systems known as botnets. In a botnet, the malware or malbot logs in to an Internet Relay Chat channel or other chat system. The attacker can then give instructions to all the infected systems simultaneously. Botnets can also be used to push upgraded malware to the infected systems, keeping them resistant to antivirus software or other security measures.

It is possible for a malware creator to profit by stealing sensitive information from a victim. Some malware programs install a key logger, which intercepts the user’s keystrokes when entering a password, credit card number, or other information that may be exploited. This is then transmitted to the malware creator automatically, enabling credit card fraud and other theft. Similarly, malware may copy the CD key or password for online games, allowing the creator to steal accounts or virtual items.

Another way of stealing money from the infected PC owner is to take control of a dial-up modem and dial an expensive toll call. Dialer (or porn dialer) software dials up a premium-rate telephone number such as a U.S. “900 number” and leave the line open, charging the toll to the infected user.

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