Hundreds of models of HP laptops were discovered to contain hidden keylogger software that can possibly be activated by hackers.
The report on the new HP laptop security issue comes just a couple of weeks after HP was found to have installed spyware in its computers. The keylogger is different from similar software that was found in HP laptops in May.
HP Laptops Discovered To Have Keyloggers
Security researcher Michael Myng, while he was trying to carry out a request to figure out the controls for the keyboard backlight of an HP laptop, discovered something more sinister.
In a Github post, Myng revealed that he found keylogging code in software drivers that were pre-installed in HP laptops. A keylogger is a program that sends the characters that the victim types to an attacker, and the code that he discovered sent the key presses to an unnamed target.
According to Myng, the keylogger was disabled by default, but a hacker who is able to physically access the affected HP laptop could possibly activate the software to record the key presses of the victim. With the keylogger active, hackers would be able to extract personal and confidential information, such as passwords for online accounts.
How To Remove Keyloggers From HP Laptops
Myng, after contacting HP about his findings, received a response quickly from the computer manufacturer.
HP confirmed that the keylogger was present in more than 460 models of its laptops, including its EliteBook, Pavilion, ProBook, and Envy lines, with affected devices dating as far back as 2012. The company then explained that the software was a debug trace that was part of Synaptics software.
Fortunately, HP immediately rolled out a fix to remove the keylogger software from its laptops. Owners of the affected HP laptops should immediately download and install the update to protect themselves from possible attacks.
HP Laptop Security Issues
The discovery of keylogger software in HP laptops comes after a report from late November that HP possibly installed spyware in its computers and did so without requiring permission from users.
HP rolled out HP Touchpoint Analytics Service, a telemetry client that appears to replace HP Touchpoint Manager. However, the new software apparently harvests telemetry information and sends the data to HP daily. In addition, the spyware degraded the performance of computers.
Removing the spyware was not as simple as downloading and installing an update, but it was still easy as it just needed a few steps. Owners of HP laptops are advised to check if their computers are affected after removing the hidden keylogger.