Project Reference: NCS80

Student’s Name: Leah Spencer

Project title: Implementing a keylogger and Exploring Countermeasure Methods of Preventing and Detecting such Cyber-attacks.

Course Title: Computer Forensics

Supervisor’s Name: Jan Krasniewicz

The projects aim is to investigate the threats of keylogging software and explore countermeasure methods of detecting and preventing the threats. This is done by developing a tool to address the problems with keyloggers. The project will investigate techniques consumers can use to keep themselves secure from such attacks, such as using antivirus software to detect the keylogger and key scramblers to encrypt the users’ keystrokes.

“Keyloggers are a type of malware that collect sensitive data by recording information gathered from the users’ keystrokes typed on their keyboard. As explained by Ladakis, Koromilas, Vasiliadis, Polychronakis and Ioannidis (2013), the main purpose of keyloggers is to “hide their presence using rootkit-like techniques to evade detection by antivirus and other system protection.” It is often that the users don’t know that a keylogger is installed on their device and they usually go undetected. Keyloggers are predominately used to gain access to confidential information such as bank details and passwords, acquired by hackers. The main countermeasures used to defend against keyloggers are usually installing antivirus software on your device and keeping the software up to date, using a password manager to limit the number of passwords physically typed in, install a key scrambler to encrypt each key inputted and also by using an internet firewall.

In this report, countermeasures will be discussed against keyloggers and the project focused on implementing a keylogger to test the countermeasures to defend against it. The project investigated the threats of keylogging software and explored the methods of preventing and detecting the threats they pose. Many techniques to keep consumers secure from such attacks have been investigated, such as using the Norton antivirus software on Windows and Mac to test how efficiently it works in detecting the presence of a keylogger on both operating systems. This report highlights that the antivirus software did not work as expected in detecting the keylogger, however, a key scrambler was used instead to prevent the keys from being logged by encrypting them. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of using security defences such as key scramblers to prevent keyloggers from stealing sensitive information and logging users’ keystrokes. “

“Keyloggers are a type of malware that collect sensitive data by recording information gathered from the users’ keystrokes typed on their keyboard. As explained by Ladakis, Koromilas, Vasiliadis, Polychronakis and Ioannidis (2013), the main purpose of keyloggers is to “hide their presence using rootkit-like techniques to evade detection by antivirus and other system protection.” It is often that the users don’t know that a keylogger is installed on their device and they usually go undetected. Keyloggers are predominately used to gain access to confidential information such as bank details and passwords, acquired by hackers. The main countermeasures used to defend against keyloggers are usually installing antivirus software on your device and keeping the software up to date, using a password manager to limit the number of passwords physically typed in, install a key scrambler to encrypt each key inputted and also by using an internet firewall.

In this report, countermeasures will be discussed against keyloggers and the project focused on implementing a keylogger to test the countermeasures to defend against it. The project investigated the threats of keylogging software and explored the methods of preventing and detecting the threats they pose. Many techniques to keep consumers secure from such attacks have been investigated, such as using the Norton antivirus software on Windows and Mac to test how efficiently it works in detecting the presence of a keylogger on both operating systems. This report highlights that the antivirus software did not work as expected in detecting the keylogger, however, a key scrambler was used instead to prevent the keys from being logged by encrypting them. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of using security defences such as key scramblers to prevent keyloggers from stealing sensitive information and logging users’ keystrokes. “