HP Laptops Shipped With Keyloggers Inside Them, but Things Are Becoming Resolved

Wondering just how bad Big Brother has gotten since we began “noticing” it? As a society, plenty of us have known about technical accessories checking in on us, yet some of us still don’t seem to care very much. Gamers (ahem, the Microsoft Kinect) gonna game, right? Amazon Prime users are gonna let Alexa do their “dirty work”, right? Beyond this recent technological revolution (recent, meaning 5-10 years), the revelation of someone watching us really gained attention a lot longer back. This negative utopia, or nightmarish vision of our society being watched, was of course written about in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) novel, when it was published in 1950.

Not that there’s any reason to become more freaked out about BB, and whether you think you know what the truth is, something has been watching HP laptop owners, and that, my friend, is a fact. It has been proven. What has recently been issued by independent Swiss security researcher ModZero, involved a serious warning where several HP laptops contained a keylogger-type feature. The feature had been recording every keystroke entered on the computers and onto an unencrypted file on the its hard drive.

HP has confirmed the report from ModZero to be correct. The keylogger built into the device driver is supplied to HP by Conexant Systems, and works by marking the keystrokes and then deleting the file before starting a new one every time users log into Windows. The problem at hand is, many of us don’t regularly reboot our computers, or have a nice backup system that routinely cleans up and checks in. Ultimately, this means every single thing you type into those keys on your keyboard is stored in a place where predators can reach it.

This means embarrassing conversations, it also means credit card and bank numbers, and passwords into all your daily website interactions. The ModZero “hero”, Thorsten Schroeder, allegedly let HP know of this information, yet HP’s VP, Mike Nash, decided not to communicate at that time. If you can imagine, Nash now accepts responsibility for the entire matter going wrong when it could’ve been prevented at a certain point in time; even considering the matter affecting drivers across two whole generations of complete laptop systems from HP. As of late, Nash’s team has been working with Microsoft to merge the new drivers into Windows latest updates. This will fix the vulnerability automatically. Although the entire scenario has seemed suspicious, the keylogger “issue” might have just been an exercise gone wrong, where HP was attempting a debugging ritual, and Conexant was left in the driver by mistake. Hard to swallow? All we know is HP admits to no wrongdoing in collecting any of the data involved, and will conduct code reviews with suppliers such as Conexant in any future endeavours together. Still, the severity of the issue stands that, in the midst of the news, HP was unresponsive to dealing with it. Everyone should take this as yet another consistent reminder to be thoughtful with your data.

Topics: Technology News HP Laptops & Ultrathin Ultrabooks

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