If you use a HP laptop computer, or if friends and family use them, you or they may be affected by a security issue that’s recently cropped up. Sky News reports:
Security researchers have discovered that a feature installed in a number of HP laptops is recording all of the keystrokes that the laptop users make.
In capturing everything users press on their keyboards the software is recording sensitive information, and by saving that information in an easily accessible file the researchers claim that it is potentially exposing users’ passwords to attackers.
According to the Swiss cybersecurity group behind the research, Modzero, the feature wasn’t designed to spy on users – but it was implemented in such a way that it records everything users type.
This means that from the moment a user logs into Windows on affected HP laptops, every key they press, including to enter passphrases for online banking and email accounts, is recorded and stored.
. . .
HP told Sky News: “Our supplier partner developed software to test audio functionality prior to product launch and it should not have been included in the final shipped version. Fixes will be available shortly via HP.com.”
There’s more at the link.
I checked my own laptop last night, and sure enough, the keylogger files were there. I deleted the files, then used Windows’ Device Manager to update the driver to HP’s new version. That appears to have fixed the problem.
Please check your own computer as soon as possible, and please pass the word to your family and friends to check theirs. I guarantee you, hackers are even now trying to figure out how to access the key log file on your system (if it exists), and copy it to their own servers, where they can analyze it to see whether key financial information, passwords, etc. was recorded. If they find it, you may wake up one morning to find your e-mail compromised, or your bank account accessed, or any of a number of other nasty outcomes.