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Thursday, 04 December 2008 03:26

New commercial spyware puts Mac OS X users at risk

A Russian company has released a commercial keystroke logger for Mac OS X, putting users' passwords and other private information at risk.

While keystroke loggers do have a legitimate purpose (to recover text lost when a power failure or other catastrophe occurs some time after a document was last saved), they are most commonly used to spy on other people.

Software developer ProteMac has released the $US49.95 KeyBag utility, which it says "is designed for hidden monitoring of the computer activities."

"ProteMac KeyBag allows you to find out what other users do on your computer in your absence. You will find out, what was going on your computer in your absence: what was typed and the windows visited websites etc. This invisible employee spy surveillance tool records every keystroke to database file with user-friendly easy to use keystroke log viewer."

So when your boss insists that you don't need an anti-malware package on the Macs in the office, is it because he or she wants to keep something like KeyBag hidden?

Other commercial keystroke loggers designed for surveillance purposes include Spector Pro from SpectorSoft.

There are also hardware keystroke loggers that connect between the keyboard and the computer. While they are more obvious than the software approach, how often do you look behind your computer?

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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