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Some HP laptops have a hidden keylogger in their touchpad software, according to a security researcher. The secret code can track keystrokes and also record the typed characters. This means that it can be used by hackers to record what the user is typing on an affected computer.

Hidden Deactivated Secret Keylogger HP Laptops
HP Laptop | Source: Wikimedia Commons

Michael Myng Found the HP Keylogger

Mr. Myng was probing how to control HP’s laptop keyboard backlight and also the Synaptics Touchpad software when he found the code. According to the security researcher, the deactivated code was in the SynTP.sys file of the keyboard driver.

Potential Security Vulnerability on the Computer

As mentioned above, the code can sent key presses to another device, and this can enable a hacker to access user data. Although HP has said that the keylogger was a debugging tool, IT experts say that someone can use administrative privileges to take advantage of the vulnerability. The tech guru has also said that the code was disabled and can affect some Synaptics touchpad drivers.

Computers with the Keylogger

According to HP, the code was in 475 laptops, most of them being the consumer ones. Some of the models include Elitebook, MT, ProBook, Spectre, Stream, ZBook and also Compaq. Other models include HP 17, ENVY, Omen, Pavilion and also Split. For more info, see the full list of computers.

Solution for the Keylogger

HP has released driver updates to remove the code, and it advises the users to install the updates right away to do away with any privacy concerns. You can download the updates from the above link. The company also plans to step up its software quality assurance going forward.

In conclusion, the discovery can really hurt HP, given that a similar code was in their laptops early in 2017. The code was in audio driver and affected around 30 laptops. It was capturing key-ins and saving them to a local file.

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