HP laptops coming with keylogger

Klumpen

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http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=bbb516d91daee20498798694a42dd559&u=https://arstechnica.com/security/2017/05/hp-laptops-covert-log-every-keystroke-researchers-warn/

HP is selling more than two dozen models of laptops and tablets that covertly monitor every keystroke a user makes, security researchers warned Thursday. The devices then store the key presses in an unencrypted file on the hard drive.

The keylogger is included in a device driver developed by Conexant, a manufacturer of audio chips that are included in the vulnerable HP devices. That's according to an advisory published by modzero, a Switzerland-based security consulting firm. One of the device driver components is MicTray64.exe, an executable file that allows the driver to respond when a user presses special keys. It turns out that the file sends all keystrokes to a debugging interface or writes them to a log file available on the computer's C drive.

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The log file—located at C:\Users\Public\MicTray.log—is overwritten after each computer reboot, but there are several ways that the contents could survive for weeks, or even indefinitely.

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Affected HP models included HP EliteBooks, HP ProBooks, HP ZBooks, and HP Elites. People can check to see if their HP computer is at risk by searching for the files C:\Windows\System32\MicTray.exe or C:\Windows\System32\MicTray64.exe. Modzero said PCs sold by other manufacturers that contain Conexant drivers may be similarly at risk. Neither HP nor Conexant responded to requests to comment for this post.

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Modzero said that people who own an affected computer can delete or rename the C:\Windows\System32\MicTray.exe or C:\Windows\System32\MicTray64.exe files (and the log file according to another article at pcgamer), although that move may cause special function keys for audio to stop working. There is no indication that either HP or Conexant has released an update.
 

edlee

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That's kind of redundant, since Windows 10 comes with a built-in keylogger anyway.
 

PowerGod

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When I read (in another magazine) "HP", "2015 / 2016" and "Keylogger" I became blank...

...but then found out it was created only a local file, so no issues if you use a "single user" pc in a secure network...

anyway my pc is clean :) I have another driver and no traces of the advertised thing
 

Grench

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It is an audio driver that is directly reading (and recording) every key input directly from the keyboard in order to tell if the sound control buttons have/not been pressed. Why on Earth would they go direct to hardware for that instead of the OS? That strikes me as a real crude way to avoid having to properly map the keyboard to the OS. It is like instead of building a keyboard driver to match their key layout they instead built a sound driver to read raw key presses.

They should have just registered keypresses to the OS then ported FunkeyMonkey to interpret the keycodes as audio control inputs.
 

TeDaDeS

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We could have a thread about which keys to log.
I just realized this is the most important feature of the Pyra so we should definitely delay production to have that all sorted out. :oops:

Oh, geez. Is that a request that we should open something like that into the Pyra OS as well? :)
Just suggest the GPD-Win, it already has support for this.
 

Kev2442

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This is why I wipe windows off the drive and install Linux the day I get a new notebook.
This is why I always advise people to wipe the drive and install a clean Windows the day they get their new computer.

And yes, Win10 comes with keyloggers and stuff, but nowadays, you can deactivate it from the install program. And privacy tools are common and (mostly) easy to use.
As a long-term Windows user, I find it to be the best version to date, even topping Seven and XP.
Small learning curve (finding the real control panel and stuff) aside, it is a joy to right-click the start button and have quick access to most of the good things, also my uncommon audio devices automagically get their drivers and most things can be personalized.
Plus it is quite stable and good looking. Really I think this is the closest Microsoft got to a convenient OS, closer to but still quite unlike a Linux system without a learning curve. :p
 

Alperoot

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This is why I always advise people to wipe the drive and install a clean Windows the day they get their new computer.

And yes, Win10 comes with keyloggers and stuff, but nowadays, you can deactivate it from the install program. And privacy tools are common and (mostly) easy to use.
As a long-term Windows user, I find it to be the best version to date, even topping Seven and XP.
Small learning curve (finding the real control panel and stuff) aside, it is a joy to right-click the start button and have quick access to most of the good things, also my uncommon audio devices automagically get their drivers and most things can be personalized.
Plus it is quite stable and good looking. Really I think this is the closest Microsoft got to a convenient OS, closer to but still quite unlike a Linux system without a learning curve. :p
Besides, Win7 isn't safe anymore.
 

rygD

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They are really just trying to help users in case they forget their passwords. Thanks, HP!
 

edlee

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My understanding is that you cannot disable all of the privacy invasions in the non-business versions of Windows 10. That might include the keylogger. If I were a defense contractor or a government employee working on classified materials, then I would consider a keylogger that sends everything that I type to Microsoft absolutely unacceptable. Even as a consumer, I consider a keylogger absolutely unacceptable. Microsoft has no business knowing my user names and passwords to my bank, credit card, or stock brokerage web sites. Considering the seemingly endless list of security flaws in Microsoft software for as long as Microsoft has been producing Windows, I have no faith in Microsoft's ability to keep that information away from third parties as well.
 

levi

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To be fair, I think the security flaws in old versions of Linux are already a big issue, and perhaps will be bigger than this in the years to come. It's a bit different to Windows because these flaws have been listed in the public for years, while with this bug has existed for years only the NSA knew about it until recently. Linux is only even slightly secure if you apply these patches as they are published, and IoT manufacturers using old versions of things and not patching them over time is a bigger hole, it's just that people thus far store less personal information on their IoT devices so it's not really worth the miscreants ransoming them in this way.

If your network connected camera breaks because it's hacked, you'd just throw it away and buy another one I suspect.
 
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