Crypto Glossary

Keylogger

A keylogger or keystroke logging software is a spying tool often used by hackers to record keystrokes made by users.

What Is a Keylogger?

A keylogger or keystroke logging software is a spying tool often used by hackers to record keystrokes made by users. Hackers use keystroke logging software and hardware keyloggers to record and access victim’s sensitive information such as bank details, account passwords, private keys, etc. for personal gains. 

There are three major types of hardware keyloggers:

  1. Hidden camera loggers used to visually monitor keystrokes. 
  2. USB-loaded keyloggers that deliver a keystroke logger malware to a computer
  3. Keyboard hardware keyloggers that are either built-in or connected to a device via a cable.

Keyloggers can be used to steal digital currencies from users by recording their private keys from their crypto wallets or logging their exchange passwords. This risk can easily be mitigated by using a hardware wallet and activating the two-factor authentication (2FA) feature in exchange accounts, which most major crypto exchanges support.

Keyloggers also have legitimate use cases. For instance, system administrators may use keylogging software to track employees’ activities. Keyloggers are also useful for law enforcement as they can be used to monitor criminals and send all recorded information to all offices efficiently.

In the current ecosystem, keyloggers have grown from spying tools often used by criminals or governmental organizations to a commercial market of their own, allowing the average individual to purchase their own copy of keylogging software. A common, more benign use case of keyloggers is parental control, where parents can monitor their children’s online activities. 

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