Pre-installed keylogger found in over 460 HP laptop models

Initially discovered by a security researcher going by the name ZwClose (via PCWorld), the keylogger was included in the Synaptics Touchpad keyboard driver found on the affected laptops.

Upon further examination, Myng concluded that the keylogging software was disabled by default in HP laptops but could be activated by anyone with access to a computer.

HP's advisory stated that the vulnerability "impacts all Synaptics OEM partners", so we can expect a rash of driver updates to be released in the fugure.

HP's security bulletin says the "potential security vulnerability" affects all laptops with "certain versions of Synaptics touchpad drivers"-not necessarily just HP models". Michael Myng's discovery of a dormant HP laptop keylogger has major implications for computer security.

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Myng also wrote about HP's swift action upon learning of the issue: "So, I messaged HP about the finding".

Fortunately for owners of the affected laptops - which include models from almost every HP line, such as Pavillion, Envy and Spectre - ZwClose noted that the technology needs to be enabled by editing the Windows Registry, and could be erased by simply updating Windows. "They replied terrifically fast, confirmed the presence of the keylogger and released an update that removes the trace".

At the time of writing there was no updates yet available for some of the affected laptops. They include HP Envy, Omen, Pavilion, Spectre, Stream, EliteBook, ProBook, ZBook models and more. The HP website also has a list of affected laptop models.

"At this point I had to run some ETW capture software like MessageAnalyzer to read the trace, but I couldn't do that since I didn't have HP laptop", said the researcher. If you don't know your HP laptop's model, you can check for a sticker underneath the laptop that might contain the model number. If you don't see the sticker, you can press Fn + Esc simultaneously to summon HP's System Information window.


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