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Software for monitoring your kids on the internet

by hix2 / April 6, 2005 11:14 AM PDT

I listened to all of the commentary concerning monitoring software for the kids. The whole subject is scary. The fact that this software can be set to stealth mode, also scares me. Is there a way to detect that this software is monitoring you? Is it possible for Microsoft or some other unknown entity to install this software on your PC without your knowledge? Can it be embedded into Microsoft office or some other common program like Norton Internet Security ? Are my keystrokes being recorded right now? How can I tell? Does anyone know?

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by sidey / April 6, 2005 2:14 PM PDT

In a professional environment, that is the work place I do know of companies that use Keylogging software and from what im told their general policy seems to be one that does not inform their employees of their use of spying Keyloggers.

How do I know? Because im a network administrator and I have friends who are at other companies where it happens.

Is it legal? Seems to be. Is it moral? Personally I don't think so. Is there anything you can do to detect if your workplace uses it? No because that would require installing software and most workplaces have user policy restrictions against that.

There was also some talk about the FBI having the capacity to install a keylogger they developed called Magic Lantern. As I recall, the major anti virus developers like MacAfee and Symantec (Norton) etc had agreed not to deveolp or release a definition update that would allow detection of that particular keylogger. So if you think you have it I guess you should either curse them out every chance you can or disconnect from the net .... kidding.

As for detecting any keylogger you may have picked up on your home PC, its possible but by no means probable. Most would be detected by a good AV such as Norton or MacAfee but I wouldn't bet on that totally. I installed Spyware Doctor and Webroot Spy Sweeper on a friends unit because she was having problems and both of them picked up a keylogger that the Anti- Virus missed.

There's also an app called Anti-Keylogger (strangely enough) which im told by some is worth looking into but I personally haven't tested it yet. I would suggest that you research it before you consider installing it because sometimes the apps that claim to resolve actually add to the problem.

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key loggers
by hix2 / April 8, 2005 10:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Keyloggers

Thanks for your reply, I know I have no choice at work, but I was wondering if commerical software like Microsoft or Symantec may be sneaking something like that into their products and not telling us. Wondering if we have a way to detect it. Do you know of any particular registry entries or services that would be running that would indicate there was a key logger on my system?

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key loggers
by sidey / April 9, 2005 3:49 AM PDT
In reply to: key loggers

Well there is such a thing as ?Protected Storage? on XP which at least one so called spyware app actually defines as a keylogger.

Protected Storage is really nothing sinister. To explain what it does. If for example you were logging into Cnet you have to login using the e-mail address you designated plus the password. XP or Protected Storage asks you if you want it to store that login combination so that when you return its as simple as double clicking in the login box and your details then appear.

In a strict definition of keylogging I guess you could argue that it is and many techs would advise that you disable it. But you seem to be worried that something really sinister may have infected your system to the point it may be embedded in your registry.

The registry is not to be fooled with unless you know what youre doing and because the wrong advice or even malicious advice can be so damaging I would not recommend you seek advice from people when it comes to tampering with the registry.

Like I said before. The conspiracy theories and myths about huge software companies such as Microsoft or Symantec spying on us is just a tad too overboard to take too seriously. People come and go from these companies and I think it beggars belief that if it was going on someone wouldnt have blown the whistle by now.

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You are right, but you didn't give the full answer
by baddawgg / April 17, 2005 10:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Keyloggers

It is a violation of the patriot act to have software to detect Magic Lantern or any other software using the DES encription algorithm (which is used to control your satelite receiver.) Some offshore suppliers will sell you software to detect and remove it, but who knows what else their software contains.

You should know that your ISP is probably required to have a box installed on their system called CARNIVORE, also run by the FBI, which reads your e-mail and postings. Since this is not part of your computer system, there is no way to detect or deactivate it.

Interpol has a similar system attached to the Internet backbone, called ECHILON.

Several instances of identity theft have been reported where confidential information about political enemies of the government have been leaked to the public. These instances involve discrediting of the AARP for its stance on Social Security or the ACLU. Knowing the integrity of our elected government, I do not doubt that the government inducges in this type of political sabatoge of those who oppose it.

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You for that or against it?
by Aussie_jack / April 17, 2005 1:03 PM PDT

Legal or not, to me its no different than a government or police department tapping my phone without judicial consent based on just cause. The so called Patriot Act is nothing but an excuse by the radical political element of the US to infringe in and control the personal lives of innocent citizens. It is nothing more than a con perpetuated on the majority law abiding population at a time when vulnerabilities based on fear were clouding the otherwise good judgment of elected representatives.

The land of the free and brave has turned into the land of the gullible and gutless if you sit back and allow the most morally and ethically corrupt administration in modern history to continue to control your rights in such a callous manner you guys deserve the ridicule of the rest of the free world.

I dont live in the US so your Patriot Act doesnt apply here. Our ISPs are not subject to the ?demands? of your FBI, NSA, CIA, etc etc, and if they did try to force that garbage on us Aussies, we would have enough sense to tell them to ?f? off loud and clear.

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Thinking like half of American!
by Page S / October 10, 2005 1:55 PM PDT

''Aussie_Jack:You for that or against it?
Legal or not, to me its no different than a government or police department tapping my phone without judicial consent based on just cause. The so called Patriot Act is nothing but an excuse by the radical political element of the US to infringe in and control the person...''

Me: I loved your message, and I agree most of what you said 1zillion percent; however,most of what you said is true and sad, but not that we deserve any ill from anyone because of what our govt. does.

There have been vast amounts of blind Americans over misdirected anger ( lashing out in wrong directions), and having the multiple shocks to deal with from being attacked, finding our govt. was not watching our backs, but playing the same ole 'blame the other faction' game, and listening to a terribly selfish and corrupt administration.

Look, we have crazy radicals wanting to kill us for being Infidels, and if you are not one of them, then you should be on the list with us.Oh, we are friends with Middle Eastern Jews and maybe have done much more to help them at times, so we are hated more, and so Aussies are not Infidels? So, all are radical Islamics over there? Not.
Many current Americans not only are stupidly ignoring the loss of privacy for Americans, but that the real enemies are laughing at us as we go bust in the wrong war( Osama is most likely happy watching Bush break us in every way, lie to us, war for personal reasons, and not really go hunt down them that attacked us!
Not all of us are this stupid, but we had a little over half the country vote this guy back in,his lies, his corrupt admin who is making money hand over fist, his lack of sense of how to run a country or bank account,.......
Anyway mate, I am from Virginia, USA, and when your country is ever put in our exact circumstances, then I hope it turns out better for ya'll.Most of the world we have helped in the past when we should not have- they never like anything we do- we are use to that. Our Super power staus had every one wanting to see us go bust , and we have forgiven so much debt to other countries.

Any good we do or have done is FAST FORGOTTEN by people like you when a wrong appears. All the years of good-poof- and you group us all as one while saying we DESERVE RIDICULE?

We get mad at our govt! We are not all the same! Your country will probably never be in our exact shoes and your country has never been as powerful, and never helped us much in the past decades either.All of the countries we have helped- all needing this or that -on and on- throughout history-gee-where was everyone when we needed them? Where was France?Seems they are not speaking madatory Russian or German today because of some help from us?
We have piles of problems. None of our factions seem to not play the same ole political games.Who can tell one from the other anymore?

Frankly, we are having hell and we do not deserve it!
We have been very good to many in the past, and we are not deserving of being lumped as one mind, we cannot war in the streets, but try and hope some of this damage Bush has done can be repaired and hopefully still bury Osama one day too. He ( Osama and his crowd )will not be forgotten.

No matter how bad the winds blow or high the gas goes, I am forever proud to be an American, and wish you Aussies all the best.

I wait to see the day you Aussies have our many probs and can fix it all by telling the govt. to F' off.
Amazing two little words could fix all this and any govt would listen- why did we not think of that-duh.

No, many of us are not for the invasion of privacy; however, my pc would bore the govt. to sleep-ha.
I am strongly against the wrongful use of the so-called Patriot Act and the continous corruption in this admin,which as soon as one thing is squashed in the papers, another wrong is brought to light.

Give us a break and do not lump all of us as one mind on what the govt. gets away with doing-thanks.

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Its smart to be careful but relax a lil bit
by IT_Ministry / April 6, 2005 5:55 PM PDT

Calm down hix, you?ll give yourself an ulcer or at least become so paranoid that everything will look like a conspiracy. Just joking.

The old Microsoft theory just never seems to die. I guess ever since MS had a Windows Update there were those who swore blind that MS was bleeding more information than it needed to determine if your updates were current. Ive also heard the theory that Anti-Virus developers such as Symantec and MacAfee embed into their products programs that can spy on your system and feed back that information when you update your virus definitions.

Is it possible? Yeah I guess. But in 20 years ive yet to see anyone come out with indisputable proof that any of those theories has any real foundation in fact and so logic demands until that proof (and I do mean proof, not supposition) comes out then its just another myth.

I guess one question ive always asked which has yet to be answered is why would we think they care whats on our computers. Most people like me dont have much of anything of interest on them anyway. I dont as a rule store addresses or phone numbers on my computer, nor do I use internet banking. In fact I keep as little personal and private information on my home PC as possible and the main reason for that is not because I fear MS or MacAfee will find out, its because if I am going to be hacked, it will probably be by some pre pubescent zit faced moron who hasnt got the sense to do something constructive with his talents.

I agree with Sidey. Youre probably more likely to be keylogged at work than you are on the net, but he has made some solid suggestions regarding proven applications that will limit your risks. Having said that, it also depends on your own web surfing habits as to how much of a target you present in terms of the likelihood of being hit with a keylogger.

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key logger
by hix2 / April 8, 2005 10:39 AM PDT

Thanks for the adjustment to my stress level. I guess I got parinoid when I did a research paper on Microsoft and at the time "hellstorm" was being picked apart. It involved a lot of collecting personal data without notification. Why would they do that... well if you think the fact that I asked was parinoid.. you may turn over a few times on this one.... I see a time in our future "when we wont be able to buy or sell goods" without possessing specific permission.... You would think, if you have money or the means, how could someone stop you from purchaing what you need. I see all this data collection, cameras at stop lights, taking everything electronic, creating all of these databases, tracking the groceries we buy and where we buy them, identity theft, etc.. all as ground work for that time in our future... I know if for some reason this is true.. there is nothing we can do about it. I just crave the knowledge to determine when and where I am being watched. It keeps the mind busy anyway... : )

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re key logger
by IT_Ministry / April 9, 2005 1:18 PM PDT
In reply to: key logger

Its not that I thought you were pariniod, I was joking about that. But now you mention it with all the other stuff .... you really need to relax and find another way to keep your mind busy coz its twilight zone stuff you're talking now.

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its not paranoia but worrying
by gbswales / April 14, 2005 8:21 PM PDT

Unlike you I do have a great deal of stuff on my computer that is important to my part time work as photographer. I also do on-line banking, on-line share dealing and make about 50% of purchases on line so key logging - even (or especially) by spotty adolescents - is of real concern. I tried installing one once to see how dangerous it was and was alarmed how effective it was - even emailing key logs to a designated email account. It also managed to capture just the keystrokes that looked like user name and pasword combinations and, in a paid for version, it could be sent by stealth to another computer disguised as a jpg image or other file and managed remotely!!!
More alarming was that the only way to uninstall it was by first running the installation executable which had a meaningless name. When I ran it on my computer it was NOT detected by Norton Anti Virus, my firewall or even Microsoft anti spyware tool!

Given that many people now rely on their computers for lots of things we do need an effective tool to discover if key logging or password capture processes are running.

A long term solution would be for all processes to be forced to have clearly identifiable names that way you could check what processes are running and stop any you didnt recognise. Future Windows releases should also be engineered to prevent the use of stealth mode. Whether it is done by governements, parents or miscreants, and whatever the justfication advanced, it is a gross violation of privacy, is MORALLY WRONG AND SHOULD BE PREVENTED

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scared after reading this informative post
by Page S / October 10, 2005 2:09 PM PDT


Thanks,but I never knew just how easy it was to do what you have described.
I wonder why it is legal to sell software that can do that? I realize many busineses wanted to use them, which I think is wrong, but to sell easily to random users................

I think it is wrong for anyone to use them, but the net has gone bonkers with technology just trying to 'do us wrong who pay to surf'

I like the idea of having to only let certain programs run under names, which cannot be changed or altered. I wish the smart people who make all this stuff would cure this problem as would be up there with curing major deseases. Too easy to steal from people and it is insane that more has not been done to protect us who make up a major market of e-consumers, markets for ISP's, etc. We should be protected to keep their markets strong.

thanks for the information you posted-scary food for thought- how could anyone know if they are already being logged by something you mentioned?

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Key Logger Concerns
by creynolds / April 14, 2005 8:10 PM PDT

The odds of actually getting infected with a logger are slim but, possible. The real concern with a logger is identity theft. A key logger if one is present will record every keystroke. That includes user ID's and passwords. It also includes ALL activity on ALL websites regardless of whether the website itself is secure or not. That means if you have a logger and do online banking and/or shopping the logger will record your account number, pin, CCV, social and anything else typed. The fact that a particular website is secure ONLY means your data is secure on their site. It does NOT mean it is secure on the way to it. They can not affect what happens on your PC.

More people are at risk than they realize and this is because of their own ignorance. The people most likely to get hit are those without "Current" antivirus, antispyware and firewall programs. A good firewall is key as is knowing how to properly use it. In order for a key logger to do its harm it MUST transmit its file to someone. Even if and antispyware or virus program misses detecting it a properly setup firewall WILL catch it when it tries to upload and notify you.

As far as detecting the key logger? Most are easier to detect than is realized because the info is stored typicaly as plain text. Even though the file extension may be unrecognized the contents can be searched.

A simple test for the less sophistigated loggers is to go to a know website that requires a logon. Think up and type in a bogus user ID and password. IE: Casper, Ghost. Then close your browser, click start, click search. Leave the file "name" box blank. Type in the bogus user ID or password (search one at a time) in the phrase search box. Under "Look In" select "My Computer" form the drop down list. That will search all files in all drives. Now click search and just watch and wait.

Want a simple search test to check the effectiveness of this method. Just type your first name in phrase box and watch just how many files and folders pop up with your name in then that you never new existed.

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Key Logger Concerns aded note.
by creynolds / April 14, 2005 8:22 PM PDT
In reply to: Key Logger Concerns

Oh BTW: When doing the file search mentioned previously please think about what you type in to search for. If you already have reason to believe there is a key logger on a machine you are using then typing in search terms like your C.C.#, S.S.# number or other personal info besides just a first name would be unwise to say the least.......

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Software monitoring
by RTT / April 14, 2005 9:14 PM PDT

If you're asking about spy and adware and use the internet at all, you are going to be absolutely SHOCKED when you find out what's on your machine. Try a free copy of Adaware for the first round of cleaning. Read the directions. Then, for fine-tuning, try the few-day free trial of Adware Away, it's pretty good. Read the directions. Then, download and install the MS Antispyware beta, it seems OK so far -- not perfect, but OK and it's free. Read the directions and set it to run all the time and update regularly.

Then, PCillian is not free, but it's maybe the best blocker/detector for viruses, etc. Install Zone Alarm or Black Ice or something. Read the directions.

You started your question by talking about spying on one's kids? On their on-line activities, I guess. What I wonder when I see stuff about this is -- what am I missing? No adult ever peeked at a Playboy mag? What was that under the mattress?

Anyway, the spying thing is all downside. Let's say you do it, you find out the kids are going places and seeing and writing things online that you don't care for -- what do you say? "I've been watching your every move in secret, children, and you bin baaaaaaaad...." Great. Bye, bye communications, hello Berlin Wall, the kids go use their friends' machines and what happens when they could really use some guidence? Who do they call, Ghostbusters? Not you, that's for sure. They already know you're gonna whack 'em for impure thoughts and so on.

Give the kids some guiding principals about self-respect and respecting others and the "how would you like it" idea. Then take the time to gently tell them that you love them very much, wish a full and happy life for them and don't want to see them sick or dead or saddled with an abortion or an unwanted pregnancy and THAT'S why they should avoid drugs [and jail] and use or insist on condoms.

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key logger function
by sanchitkansara / April 18, 2005 5:24 PM PDT

I have tried some key logger in my home and unfortunately it works great but all of them are free virsion and I have tried it just for fun and to know my room partner's password. If you have any free virsion of key logger, you will see something on your system which shows that something suspecious follows you. Like one applet start at logging in shows about key logger or show advertisememnt about key logger. If key logger installed on stealth mode than it is very difficult to find out, If your employer ownes that software and it is good working than forget to find about it in few minutes, because i have tried.

You cannot see keylogger in installed program list, add or remove programm, task manager, or system tray but you may find shortcut of it at C:\Documents and Settings\(user's name)\Start Menu\Programs. If your employer has installed key logger on your system than it is better not to do any thing which feels you awkward position on job. You may check your email account and all other thing, if someone know your password tahn you can find him there also. But if your room partner or friend triend it on you with you home pc the best way is to format drive and dont allow anyone else to installed programme on the PC.

I think now you understand keylogger in better way. If you think this message has help you a lot than email me back about more option.

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Key Logger
by ladymemi / April 21, 2010 7:17 AM PDT
In reply to: key logger function

I have installed the Free KGB Key Logger on my computer & put it in the hidden mode. I can't remember what they said to pull it back up. Do you know the steps that you have to do in order to pull it up so that I may view it?


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