Browse our list of commonly used security, privacy, and compliance terms and acronyms.
What is keylogging?
Keylogging is a technique used to capture and record keystrokes made on a keyboard. It can be used for legitimate purposes, such as monitoring employee computer activity or detecting unauthorized access to sensitive systems, but it is also commonly used by cybercriminals as a form of malware to steal sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and other personal data.
Keyloggers can be implemented in various ways, including hardware-based devices that attach to the keyboard or software-based programs that are installed on a computer system. Software-based keyloggers can be disguised as legitimate programs, such as games or productivity tools, and can be installed through malicious links or email attachments.
Once installed, keyloggers can capture and record all keystrokes made on the keyboard, including passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information. The captured information is typically stored in a file or sent to a remote server controlled by the attacker. Keyloggers can be difficult to detect, as they operate silently in the background and do not typically display any visible signs of activity.
To protect against keylogging attacks, users should be cautious when downloading and installing software from unknown sources and keep their operating system and security software up-to-date. Additionally, the use of virtual keyboards or two-factor authentication can make it more difficult for keyloggers to capture sensitive information.