More than 460 models are affected by this latest security problem, including some of the company's best sellers like the EliteBook, ProBook, Pavilion and Envy ranges.
Security researcher Michael Myng discovered the hidden tool sitting within the Synaptics Touchpad device driver, while investigating how to control the keyboard backlight. HP responded quickly after reporting his findings to the company and said it was code that was left over during debugging. HP said the keylogging is created to be used during a debugging backtrace, allowing the company to inspect what's gone wrong in a program.
Recently, security researchers have diagnosed a specific keylogger in the HP laptops which is a piece of software and aims to transfer users' data to the centralized hubs.
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Although the keylogger is turned off by default, changing registry values could see it enabled, making it a target for malware programs such as Remote Access Trojans (RAT).
The reason for that is that the bug is a debug trace that forms part of the Synaptics Touchpad driver.
The first time was earlier this year, when Swiss security firm modzero AG discovered a keylogger in Conexant HP audio drivers that stored records of keystrokes in a file in the public folder, unencrypted.
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"They replied terrificly [sic] fast, confirmed the presence of the keylogger (which actually was a debug trace) and released an update that removes the trace", he said. Customers can download the updated driver from HP's website. "HP has no access to customer data as a result of this issue". It'll also be available through Windows Update, Myng says.
What he found instead was that the keyboard driver used by 475 models of HP laptops contained a secret keylogger, capable (potentially) of stealing passwords and other confidential information.
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