Benchmarking Keyloggers for Gathering Digital Multiple Chapters

Pages: 18 (8600 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Education - Computers

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Diverse cases and media may call for different techniques of evaluation. Persons assessing digital evidence require exceptional training for this objective.

Documenting and Reporting: The examiner is accountable for accurate reporting the results and the outcomes of the evaluation of the digital examination. Documentation is a continuous activity throughout the evaluation. It is significant to monitor the steps taken during the digital evidence examination.

In the current scenario, security concerns are top for any firm. Attackers are using different key logging methods to access private data especially user login details. Once the attacker gets the credentials, they can easily validate themselves as the system user.

In (Gong, 2010) the author has proposed a new pattern of virtual keyboard. The solution in this paper highlights on login record protection from screen capture software by using the idea of reorganizing of the keys (Adhikary et al., 2007). This is providing solution to screen capturing software. Nevertheless, this captures the screen only when an event occurs. While in case of screen, recording software there is no need of case occurrence. It is easy to guess keystrokes by analyzing the recorded video. In (Agarwal and Mehra, 2011) the authors have put forward a resolution to the screen capturing keylogger by using a color coding system and vibrant keyboard.

The major fault of this way out is that an attacker can recognize the keys clicked on a keyboard. This is possible by assessing the model of screen shot captured from the first appearance of the keyboard when no production of color coding mechanism. Seref and Gurol (2009) discuss about the increasing risks to computer security and the privacy. They explain various methods of key logging and illustrate in detail working of keyloggers. There are diverse places to put the keylogger. It can be anywhere between any virtual keyboard and windows operating system. The comprehensive investigation shows that the right place to add anti-keylogging mechanism is just before the window operating system (Gong, 2010). The existing representations do not offer full-fledged clarification to key logging and screen recording software. They allow for security to some degree to key logging and screen capturing software and this call for some solution to prevent this from happening.

2.2 The concept of Keylogging

Keylogging is the method of tracking (or logging) the keys struck on the keyboard naturally in a secret way so that the person using the PC does not notice that their action are being monitored. On the other hand, a keylogger is a program that runs in the locale, monitoring and subsequently recording all the keystrokes typed on a keyboard in a hidden move so that the person using the keyboard is unaware that someone is monitoring their activities. Keyloggers can either come as hardware or software programs (Actual Spy, 2009).

2.2.1 Hardware keyloggers

Hardware-based keyloggers do not rely upon any installed software installed, because they exist in a hardware level in a computer system, (Bhaid and Mahmood, 2007). The primary advantage of hardware keyloggers is that it is hard to notice when using software and spyware scanners. Hardware keyloggers store the collected data in their own internal memory chip.

2.2.2 Software keyloggers

The design of software keyloggers gives them the capacity to work on the target PCs operating system. There are five groups, (Olzak, 2008), of Keystroke logging:

Hypervisor-based: they have the ability to reside in a malware hypervisor running in the background of the operating system, which remains unnoticed. It efficiently becomes an essential machine.

Kernel based: This technique is complicated to both program and combat. Such keyloggers dwell at the kernel stage and are thus undetected. They exist and executed as root kits that subvert the operating system kernel and acquire access to the hardware, giving them a powerful working mode. A keylogger using this technique act as a keyboard application for example, and gain access to any information typed on the keyboard as it later finds its way to the operating system.

Hook based: These types of keyloggers hook the keyboard with the help of functionality presented by the operating system for applications to give to keyboard situations legally. The operating system makes the keylogger aware every time a key is pressed and the keylogger monitors and records the keystrokes.

Passive Methods: In this technique, the coder utilizes the operating system APIs such as GetAsyncKeyState, GetForegroundWindow, etc. To analyze the situation of the keyboard in order to get access to keyboard events.

Form Grabber based: In this for, Form Grabber-based keyloggers, the keyloggers get log web form submissions by monitoring the web browsing on put forward event tasks. In so doing, the keylogger obtains form information before it gets over the internet and by passes encryption.

2.3 Features of keyloggers

Software keyloggers have more attributes compared to hardware keyloggers. Some software keyloggers have an additional characteristic to send an electronic message of the monitored keystrokes to a pre-specified email box where it is later accessed. Other software keyloggers can also record incoming and outgoing internet traffic and even detect screen shots, but this tends to reduce the speed of even the fastest PC. The screen shots captured can quickly fill the hard disk space and lead to instability of the system (Kotadia, 2006). As keyloggers become advanced, the capacity to detect the keyloggers becomes complicated and they can even breach a user's privacy for months or even years without notification. During that period, a keylogger can gather a lot of information from the PC in record, (Martin and Sylvain, 2009). According to John Leyden (2000), software keyloggers may come with features that capture the user's data without depending on keyboard key presses as the central input.

2.4 Key loggers as a means of gathering Digital Evidence

Digital evidence or electronic evidence refers to any probative information stored or conveyed in digital outline that a party in a court case may use during trial (Stephen, 2008). Although many courts in the United States have applied the Federal Rules of Evidence to digital proof similarly to traditional documents; the courts have realized very significant diversification. Compared to the traditional evidence, courts have realized that digital evidence is likely to voluminous, difficulty in destruction, modifiable, easy to duplicate, expressive, and readily available. For this reasons, some courts have perceived the digital evidence differently for intentions of authentication. Additionally, in December 2006, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure enacted stern new rules implemented required the preservation and revelation of electronically stored proof (Eoghan, 2009).

Keyloggers can offer detective assistance on PCs because of the different features they have. Keyloggers have become very common and accessible free of charge from the internet therefore making them readily available for use as a detective tool on personal computers. Detective tools for PCs are very expensive therefore making keyloggers an option for people and attackers. The capacity of keyloggers to work sneakily without the computer user knowing they exist makes them good for secretive surveillance on PCs. The computer users will not know their computer activity is in record and only he or she can access its logs (Richards, 2007). Keyloggers are able to record a lot of information, which can later translate to digital evidence and used to prosecute computer crimes. It is possible to evaluate all the data collected by keyloggers and used to conduct forensic investigations.

2.5 Challenges of Keyloggers

Computer Security is a significant issue of apprehension for almost every computer user and firms that use computers. Keyloggers have raised concerns for computer privacy and the security of electronic data. One of the challenges with keyloggers is the anxiety of probable violation of privacy. Keyloggers once unknowingly installed on a PC will collect many data thus putting susceptible information at threat. There are several legal issues, which besiege the use of keyloggers. In order to execute keyloggers on PCs, there is a need for full legal consent of the PC user. Inadequacy of this can translate to legal action against the people executing and installing the keyloggers.

Keyloggers portray a probable source of computer malware. Hardware keyloggers have a memory, which has the capacity to store malware for some time making them able to harm a PC. On the contrary, software keyloggers work in a similar manner with Trojan horses thus attacking the computer system under the camouflage of a program performing a different task. Gathering useful data from a keylogger is a complicated task. Each keylogger has a diverse manner of representing the keystrokes information making it complicated to understand the recorded information.

2.6 Conclusion

In conclusion, keyloggers primarily objected to serve as spyware and serve to accomplish harmful purpose. Although keyloggers have their own difficulties, they can assist in the detective field in collecting digital proof on PCs. However, there is a need to consider some important things before selecting a keylogger as a tool for collecting evidence on a PC. It is important to analyze the information gathered by the keylogger to serve the intended purpose. In addition, there is a… [END OF PREVIEW]

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