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Security & privacy

Check your PC or Mac for a dangerous new program that records your keystrokes

Criminals looking to rip you off never stop coming up with clever new ways to do it. Sometimes, their schemes run behind the scenes on your device and you may never know what’s actually going on.

One example comes in the form of malicious apps that are designed to run adware. In fact, a number of these apps that were downloaded millions of times were recently discovered and removed from an official app store. Tap or click here to see if you’ve downloaded one of these sketchy apps.

Another sneaky way thieves can rip you off is through keyloggers, which is a program that be secretly installed on your device to record keystrokes. Now there’s a dangerous new keylogger that you need to know about – and this one is spreading fast.

What makes Mass Logger more dangerous than other keyloggers?

There are some legitimate uses for keyloggers, such as parents who want to monitor their children’s internet activity, or (like it or not) by employers making sure workers are being productive. The programs are also used for shadier reasons, like keeping tabs on a significant other or by cybercriminals looking to rip people off.

Because once the program is installed on your device, a crook can record everything that you type. That could include account credentials and other sensitive information.

RELATED: Convincing phishing attack coming for your passwords

Now, a dangerous new keylogger has been discovered by security researchers at Cofense Intelligence. It’s being called “Mass Logger” and is much more sophisticated than previous versions of keyloggers that we’ve seen.

The frightening difference is the fact that Mass Logger is being updated regularly, which makes it more difficult for antivirus programs to detect and remove it. To put that in perspective, Mass Logger was updated 13 times over the course of just three weeks.

On top of the quick updates, they also make the malware more desirable to the undesirables. Any crook who uses Mass Logger can tell its creator about problems they run into and ask for changes. Feedback is what is driving the fast updates as the creator adds requested features.

A cybercriminal who goes by the name NYANxCAT created Mass Logger and is known for making other well-known versions of malware. He mainly deals in malware that is cheap and simple to use, and sells it on the Dark Web. This makes it easy for anyone with little tech knowledge and low morals to get into the game.

You may also like: Billions of internet-connected devices vulnerable to scary hack

Once a thief has access to Mass Logger, they can send malicious links to unsuspecting victims through phishing campaigns. All it takes is one click of a malicious link and just like that your devices are infected with keylogging malware. That’s why it’s important to know how to avoid falling victim to phishing attacks.

Hot to spot a keylogger and remove it

Keyloggers can be difficult to find, but not impossible. Most trustworthy antivirus programs automatically check for keyloggers, which is why it’s important to have one protecting all of your devices. Also, make sure your operating system is updated regularly so you get security patches that help block these types of threats.

However, since Mass Logger is constantly being updated with new ways to outsmart detection, you may want to do some digging on your own. To do this you’ll need to check your list of installed programs.

So, what are you looking for? Pretty much anything unfamiliar or suspicious. If you don’t recognize the name of a program, do a Google search to find out what it is.

Obviously, anything with the word keylogger in the title is a dead giveaway. Some other known keylogging programs to watch for include DanuSoft, Refog, and Spytech.

Here’s how to find installed programs for both Mac and PC:

Checking for installed programs on a Mac

Go to your desktop and click Finder in the upper left and open a new finder window. Select your Applications folder and review installed programs.

You can group your applications by clicking the View option in the menu and then Use Groups. This will help you weed through all of the apps on your computer.

Checking for installed programs on a PC

Go to your Control Panel as if you are going to uninstall a program. A simple way to do this is to type “control panel” in the search box found in the lower-left corner of your PC. Click on the Control Panel app when it appears.

Next, select Programs and then Uninstall a Program. You will see a list of all programs that are installed on your computer.

Uninstall suspicious programs that may be a keylogger. If you don’t feel comfortable going through this process on your own, there is a free download that can help.

Ghostpress is an anti-keylogging software that prevents malicious software from capturing your keyboard presses. It works for Windows computers and you can get the free download here or by clicking the button below.

Since keyloggers can be installed on your device through phishing attacks, you can avoid the problem before it even begins. Just follow some simple safety precautions so you don’t become the next phishing victim.

First, always be cautious with links found in unsolicited emails and text messages. Scammers are so good at spoofing messages and websites these days you never know if it’s real or fake.

As always, the best way to get to an official website is to type the address directly into your browser. Never click a link to get there. Also, don’t open attachments found in messages, either. They could be malicious and infect your device with keylogging malware.

Next, protect your devices from snoops and spies. Never connect to public Wi-Fi without the protection of a virtual private network (VPN). Cybercriminals are always looking for unprotected devices on public networks in hopes of infecting them with malware.

That’s why it’s important to use a VPN you can trust. Use the VPN that Kim uses, ExpressVPN. Try ExpressVPN for 30-days free! Get 3 months free when you sign up for one year at ExpressVPN.com/Kim.

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