Keylogger discovered preinstalled on some HP laptops

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Something’s watching you.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Your new HP laptop computer could also be recording every thing you do on it.

That is the warning issued Thursday by Swiss safety researcher ModZero, which discovered an audio driver put in on a number of HP laptops accommodates a keylogger-type characteristic that secretly data each keystroke entered into the pc to an unencrypted file on the pc’s arduous drive.

The driver, developed by audio chip maker Conextant, is loaded on greater than two dozen fashions of HP laptops and tablets, together with the
HP Elitebook
, ProBook and ZBook fashions.

The saved keystroke information would probably embrace data of passwords, web sites visited and personal chat messages. Anyone with entry to the pc utilizing the driving force would even have entry to that info and different delicate info, no matter whether or not they have been licensed to see the information.

The driver in query contains an executable file for controlling audio when a person presses particular keys. However, the software program features a debugging characteristic that sends all keystrokes via a debugging gadget or deposits them to a log file in a public listing on the arduous drive.

“This type of debugging turns the audio driver effectively into keylogging spyware,” ModZero researchers wrote. “On the basis of meta-information of the files, this keylogger has already existed on HP computers since at least Christmas 2015.”

ModZero mentioned the log file is overwritten each time the pc is booted up.

Contextant did not instantly reply to a request.

HP mentioned it was conscious of the problem however had no entry to buyer information because of it.

“Our supplier partner developed software to test audio functionality prior to product launch and it should not have been included in the final shipped version,” HP mentioned in a press release, including that fixes can be found by way of

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