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 How To Remove HP’s Keylogger From Their New Audio Drivers

How To Remove HP’s Keylogger From Their New Audio Drivers

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

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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.

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HP EliteBook 820 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 828 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 840 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 848 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 850 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 640 G2 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 650 G2 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 645 G2 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 655 G2 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 450 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 430 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 440 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 446 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 470 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 455 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 725 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 745 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 755 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 1030 G1 Notebook PC
HP ZBook 15u G3 Mobile Workstation
HP Elite x2 1012 G1 Tablet
HP Elite x2 1012 G1 with Travel Keyboard
HP Elite x2 1012 G1 Advanced Keyboard
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 Notebook PC
HP ZBook 17 G3 Mobile Workstation
HP ZBook 15 G3 Mobile Workstation
HP ZBook Studio G3 Mobile Workstation
HP EliteBook Folio G1 Notebook PC

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Let us know in the comments if you are still having any problems getting rid of this menace.

Ardis Love

Ardis Love

Senior writer Ardis Love covers security, privacy, and information liberation for WIRED. As the author of Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar, he's on the hunt for the most dangerous hackers in the Kremlin. For his book, he received a Gerald Loeb Award for International Reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, two Deadline Club Awards from the New York Society of Professional Journalists, and a Cornelius Ryan Citation for Excellence from the International Press Institute. WIRED's New York office employs Greenberg.
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One thought on “How To Remove HP’s Keylogger From Their New Audio Drivers

Amazing… Android is doing the same thing, with their Google component(s) for search and whatever; Speak to search, although there’s supposedly an option to set for a button to be pressed before that engine kicks in. The only good thing is that (all) those Apps can be disabled from Settings (many times hard to tell that disabling something will cause a loss of functionality and some Apps are too-deeply-integrated to be disabled, unfortunately.)

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