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HP keyloggers


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#1 noz03

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 03:51 PM

I just found out that HP laptops have keyloggers built in and obviously want to get it fixed, the thing is I can't work out exactly how to do it. Most information online says update your audio drivers, but my computer says they are already up to date. On the official page released by HP (https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c05827409) they have downloadable files for each specific model, but when I try to install those files it says "a newer version of the synaptics pointing device is already installed". Nothing about audio drivers, and also if this is an older version how would that help?

 

Can anyone tell a newbie how I need to get rid of this thing? I use my laptop for work as well as online banking so definitely don't want any passwords being logged :(


Edited by hamluis, 11 December 2017 - 03:55 PM.
Moved from Win 7 to Gen Security - Hamluis.


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#2 britechguy

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 05:48 PM

Please produce any HP literature that indicates that HP is using a keylogger.  And I do mean HP literature, not blog posts.

 

No computer manufacturer would want the legal exposure that would come with using a keylogger as the term is normally used.

 

If you're talking about the Conexant incident, see:  https://www.howtogeek.com/307311/how-to-check-if-your-hp-laptop-has-the-conexant-keylogger/

 

Addendum:  There appears to be a more recent issue with Synaptics drivers, which you've already noted, but for others, see:  https://www.pcworld.com/article/3240998/laptop-computers/hp-laptops-keylogger.html and https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c05827409


Edited by britechguy, 11 December 2017 - 05:54 PM.
Added Synaptics material

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#3 rp88

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 06:11 PM

This keylogger is an accident in the coding, and given the nature it takes it doesn't seem particularly suspicious. What seems to have happened is that development code for the synaptics driver including key logging so they could take logs when testing it on test machines, and they set things up so that a registry key was used to switch between key-logging test mode and non-key-logging operational use of the driver. By default you won't have been key-logged at present because by default that registry key is set in the position that keeps the key-logging deactivated, but the risk is if someone hacks you and changes that registry key they can key log you without having to make any easily detectable changes to your system.

What has got me a bit concerned though is this seems to be an issue in a driver by synaptics which just happens to be used in some HP products, I wonder if a similar risk of a key-logger which could be turned on by a registry key change is present in all synaptics drivers. Because while none of my systems are on the list of those affected they all have synaptics drivers of some form or another on them, and I struggle to see how the kind of slip-up which lead to this potential key logger's existence couldn't have been in all synaptics drivers.

Edited by rp88, 11 December 2017 - 06:11 PM.

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#4 noz03

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 05:59 AM

Please produce any HP literature that indicates that HP is using a keylogger.  And I do mean HP literature, not blog posts.

 

No computer manufacturer would want the legal exposure that would come with using a keylogger as the term is normally used.

 

If you're talking about the Conexant incident, see:  https://www.howtogeek.com/307311/how-to-check-if-your-hp-laptop-has-the-conexant-keylogger/

 

Addendum:  There appears to be a more recent issue with Synaptics drivers, which you've already noted, but for others, see:  https://www.pcworld.com/article/3240998/laptop-computers/hp-laptops-keylogger.html and https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c05827409

 

I am not even able to find information on how to fix it, and obviously HP are not going to be making this information easy to find or use words like keylogger. The article that brought it to my attention was http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42309371. 

 

From what I have heard it was a mistake that was included in a driver, and the log file is deleted every time the user is logged out, but still I like to keep my computer safer than this.



#5 Unworn_Kilt

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 08:59 AM

Hi,

 

If you really want to install the alternate drivers for your HP, try the following.

(NOTE: I don't guarantee it will work, but I don't see why it shouldn't.)

 

  • Make sure you know where you've saved your new driver and have it ready for install.
  • Go into Device Manager.
  • Uninstall (Remove the Device Driver)
  • Install the driver of your choice.
  • Reboot if necessary.

 

Not a panacea, but just a thought.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Kilt.  :thumbup2: 


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I am only a Standard Member,  NOT a Trained Malware Removal Expert. If you have ANY concerns regarding any advice I may give, please contact a Member of Staff before making changes.

 

Thanks!

 

 

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#6 britechguy

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:42 AM

 

Please produce any HP literature that indicates that HP is using a keylogger.  And I do mean HP literature, not blog posts.

 

No computer manufacturer would want the legal exposure that would come with using a keylogger as the term is normally used.

 

If you're talking about the Conexant incident, see:  https://www.howtogeek.com/307311/how-to-check-if-your-hp-laptop-has-the-conexant-keylogger/

 

Addendum:  There appears to be a more recent issue with Synaptics drivers, which you've already noted, but for others, see:  https://www.pcworld.com/article/3240998/laptop-computers/hp-laptops-keylogger.html and https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c05827409

 

I am not even able to find information on how to fix it, and obviously HP are not going to be making this information easy to find or use words like keylogger. The article that brought it to my attention was http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42309371. 

 

From what I have heard it was a mistake that was included in a driver, and the log file is deleted every time the user is logged out, but still I like to keep my computer safer than this.

 

 

Well, if you think that HP has not had anything to say about this nor produced anything to patch it you obviously did not bother to read any of the reference material I posted.

 

These incidents are known about, but they are not, in any meaningful sense, "HP keyloggers" but rather keyloggers that landed mostly on HP equipment (but, based on the reports not entirely exclusively on HP).

 

The fixes are already available.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

       ~ Mark Twain

 

 

 

              

 


#7 quietman7

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 04:50 PM

Here are a few BC news articles about the subject....
Keylogger Found in Audio Driver of HP Laptops
HP Releases Driver Update to Remove Accidental Keylogger
Keylogger Found in HP Notebook Keyboard Driver
How to Check Your HP Laptop for the Synaptic Keylogger and Remove It
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