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Keyghost II Professional Security Device Review

Keyghost II Professional Security Device Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The security of computer systems is of major concern to all users. Millions of dollars are spent annually to reduce systems vulnerability. However, a cursory review of published reports reveals that losses due to intentional or unintentional security failures are increasing.
 90% Rating:   
Filed under: Peripherals Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Keyghost Nov 09 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Peripherals > Keyghost

Hardware v/s Software



As mentioned earlier, two types of keystroke loggers are in existance. One being hardware, the other, software. Hardware type keystroke loggers do pose several advantages over their software counterparts. In addition, there are disadvantages as well. However, these "minuses" can be very easily overcome provided that physical installation is done properly and intelligently.

First of all, with software oriented loggers, actual keystroke capture can only occur when the operating system as well as the keytrapping software are loaded. Once the computer shuts down, the keytrapping software is gone as well.

With the Keyghost II Professional, keystokes are recorded from the time the computer is powered on until it is powered off even during the time when the operating system is not activated or when a system failure occurs. Secondly, it is impossible to detect through software means as 1) No software is required for the actual monitoring process, and 2) All activity is processed outside the physical machine inside their internal flash memory.

As this hardware device does not require HDD or other media storage, there is no longer the risk of corrupted log files with the cause being failed media. And lastly, the Keyghost II Professional require only the initial installation and it is maintenance free operation after that.

The primary drawback is the fact that if a user comes to know of the device, he or she can easily detach it from the system, hence the end of all keystroke monitoring. However, the Keyghost II Professional can be hardwired inside the keyboard, so that it will not be easily detected and unplugged.

The other "minus" is this. Current designs cannot redirect keystrokes to a central location. This makes more work for administrators if an unauthorized access is suspected. Depending on demand, future developments can rectify this problem. However, there are privacy issues to be addressed before such development can be considered.

Of course, the manufacturer has already thought of the potential drawbacks and have released other products which are even more difficult to detect. But more on that later...

How does it work?

Once the Keyghost II Professional is installed, simply power up the computer and the device is automatically in operation and keystroke monitoring begins immediately. It is totally independent of the functioning of the rest of the computer system and you do not have to wait until the OS is loaded for the device to work.

Once you wish to recover the keystrokes (the device MUST be plugged in), load up any text editor (Notepad for example) and enter in your password. The initial password is set at the factory and is documented in the manual itself.

The process is actually quite neat. Once I loaded Notepad, all I had to do was type a password (the Keyghost automatically monitors for the sequence of characters and checks if it matches the defined password) and a menu pops up in the text editor window itself.

Do note that the password MUST be entered without error. Hitting the backspace or delete key automatically results in an unrecognized password.

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Contents of Article: Keyghost
 Pg 1.  Keyghost II Professional Security Device Review
 Pg 2.  — Hardware v/s Software
 Pg 3.  Operation
 Pg 4.  Final Conclusions

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