In Depth

HP releases security fix after 'keylogging' discovery

Study finds a 'covert storage channel' for user keyboard inputs was packaged with laptop audio software

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has issued a security update after it was discovered user keyboard inputs were being recorded on some of its computers.

Security firm Modzero found a "covert storage channel for sensitive data" had been packaged in with audio driver software developed by Conexant on several HP laptops and was recording the user's keystrokes.

"This type of debugging turns the audio driver effectively into a keylogging spyware," it said. Information in the software's meta-data indicated it "already existed on HP computers since at least Christmas 2015".

While files containing logged keyboard inputs are "overwritten after each computer reboot", says ArsTecnica, they could be restored using certain "forensic tools".

Information held would include "a comprehensive history of everything that was typed on the keyboard", including "passwords, e-mails, and contacts".

HP issued a security update "for some of the affected models" yesterday, says the Daily Telegraph. The remaining laptops are expected to be patched today.

A total of 28 computer variants were found to contain the "bug", continues the paper, including the high-end EliteBook and ProBook models.

HP told Cnet:"Our supplier partner developed software to test audio functionality prior to product launch and it should not have been included in the final shipped version."

It added that despite the software's ability to record user data, the company did not have access to customer information. 

Recommended

What is ‘sextortion’ and why are cases on the rise?
A man using a computer in a dark room
In Depth

What is ‘sextortion’ and why are cases on the rise?

Apple AirTags: the benefits and risks
Apple AirTag with Leather Key Ring 
Between the lines

Apple AirTags: the benefits and risks

From PlayStations to SUVs: Sony joins the electric car race
The Sony Vision-S 02 SUV prototype vehicle
In Focus

From PlayStations to SUVs: Sony joins the electric car race

Why Politics for All was banned from Twitter
Man scrolls through Twitter
In Depth

Why Politics for All was banned from Twitter

Popular articles

Is Bosnia on the brink of civil war?
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik
In Depth

Is Bosnia on the brink of civil war?

Djokovic vs. Nadal vs. Federer: career records and grand slams
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have all won 20 grand slam singles titles
Profile

Djokovic vs. Nadal vs. Federer: career records and grand slams

‘BYO!’: Boris and Carrie in fresh Downing Street party row
Boris and Carrie Johnson
Behind the scenes

‘BYO!’: Boris and Carrie in fresh Downing Street party row

The Week Footer Banner