Sometimes you get a company with a staggeringly bad public relations problem (such as Samsung and their combustible phones). If you thought THAT was bad, and couldn’t be topped, wait for THIS. Hewlett-Packard has inadvertently made and released a feature in their new audio drivers – that essentially acts as a keylogger.
If you’re my mother, a keylogger is a program which records every single piece of information you type on a keyboard. Whether it’s your email password, Facebook chats, or PornHub search queries, it all gets captured by the keylogger.
Allegedly there was no dastardly plot here to take over the world by harvesting passwords. Just the height of utter incompetence. The keylogger apparently came into being after HP introduced a new diagnostic tool which detects if a certain key had been pressed. While it waits for that “certain key”, it is busy recording everything else. Nice one HP!
Fortunately there is a way to stop the keylogger from working (other than throwing your HP computer out of the window and never buying from the company ever again).
How To Kill The Keylogger Without Any Blood Getting Spilt
Every keypress is logged at C:\Users\Public\MicTray.log. This file is allegedly deleted every time you shut down your computer but still check, OK? If you have it, obviously delete it and if you have a computer backup (and you SHOULD), then delete the file from the backup too.
Now go to C:\Windows\System32\MicTray64.exe or C:\Windows\System32\MicTray.exe, and see if either one is there. If so, shut the program down, then delete it. This will stop it from logging keystrokes, thereby essentially solving the problem.
A Modzero security advisory has published a list of computers which have been affected. If you have one of these, go to WebMD on another computer to look up your headaches.
Let us know in the comments if you are still having any problems getting rid of this menace.