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Security & privacy

Secret keyloggers hiding in top-selling laptops!

If you value your privacy, you need to know about keyloggers. These are malicious computer functions that allow hackers to track everything you type into your computer or laptop.

Criminals or malware can see the passwords you use to secure your computer and to log into sites like your bank or credit card. They can see the personal messages you type into your computer and the websites you visit. That’s scary and, unfortunately, keyloggers are a serious problem that many people simply don’t know exist.

Now, it turns out that the No. 2 computer maker, HP, accidentally shipped an unknown number of laptops with a keylogger vulnerability built right into it. The affected HP models include Folio G1, Elitebook, ProBook, ZBook and many others.

The keylogger vulnerability is found inside your laptop’s audio driver package. The affected audio drivers are from the audio chipmaker Conexant.

Note: Security researchers said this keylogger vulnerability could also be found in non-HP laptops. So, make sure to keep reading for tips to delete this keylogger.

First, the good news

The good news is that this keylogger may not be an intentionally malicious attack. Security researchers believe that the keylogger function was installed into the laptops by developers of the audio driver. It’s likely those developers used the keylogging function to diagnose problems with their audio driver.

The bad news: Instead of removing it before HP computers with Conexant audio driver packages were shipped to stores, the keylogging function remained on many computers.

Your security is at risk for two reasons: One, if someone has physical access to your computer, they could exploit this keylogging vulnerability. They can read your messages, see which websites you’ve been visiting and more. Two, malware can exploit this keylogging vulnerability.

Delete this keylogger now

HP has issued a patch for this keylogger vulnerability and will issue another one today. Make sure you have the latest version of your operating system. On Windows 10: Start button >> Settings >> Update & Security >> Windows Update >> Check for Updates.

Or just delete the keylogger from your computer. Search your files for C:WindowsSystem32MicTray.exe or C:WindowsSystem32MicTray64.exe. If you find either of these on your laptop, delete them.

To do that, copy the file name or type it into your File Explorer: Start button >> File Explorer (folder icon) >> type MicTray.exe or MicTray64.exe into its search function (upper right side of pop-up box) >> search. If it’s there, delete it.

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