Keylogger or Keystroke logger is some kind of software or hardware device (or may be combination of both) that is used to track the keys struck of the keyboard (The process is called ‘keylogging’) in such a way that the person whose keyboard actions are being monitored is totally unaware of that. Therefore keylogger can be used in many situation for getting all the data entered (So if the user press any key then it will be recorded) from keyboard e.g Passwords, Credit Card, critical conversation (mail, IRC chat …) and other confidential information.
Keylogger is one of the most popular spying software in the history of computer. This post is aimed to explain about a free and open source keylogger software (desktop utility) and hardware devices that you can use on Ubuntu (11.10/10.10/10.04/11.10).
So what do you think about keylogger ? is it really illegal to monitor someone’s keystrokes (of course without permission, otherwise there will be no problem at all – In that case either the user won’t use the system or they don’t care!) ? it depends! (it can be called legal if you are not using the captured data to harm others; certainly you have full right to install such Apps or monitor keyboard activities on your computer) but in some situation it may be really useful; you can easily guess when, Right? Just Think about it.
Software Keylogger for Ubuntu
A number of keylogging programs/applications are available for Ubuntu, and a good one that I’ve used is logkeys. Logkeys is a keylogger for Linux based operating system, it’s free and open source (hosted at Google Code). it has a lot of advanced features and it works smoothly in the background.
How to Install Logkeys Keylogger on Ubuntu
Open terminal and type the command (Enter your password if required)
sudo apt-get install logkeys
Using Logkeys to start keylogging process
Open terminal and type (it will create a log file in your current directory (most probably in your /home/your_user_name/spy.log), where your target file will be stored)
touch spy.log sudo logkeys --start --output spy.log
Now your keylogger is running in background you can close the terminal. The output will be stored in the spy.log (it’s just for example purpose, don’t use filenames like this 🙂 ).
kill logkeys process to stop keylogging
sudo logkeys --kill
Reading keystrokes recoreded by keylogger
Read official Documentation for more options and tutorials.
Hardware Keylogger for Ubuntu
There are many hardware based devices available for capturing keyboard events. Some of them works at BIOS level while some are based on keyboard level. They do not need any software to capture keyboard strokes, but it can’t be done remotely, because you need physical access to the computer.
(1) 4MB USB Keylogger
It doesn’t require any driver or software and works with all Linux based OS as well as with Windows XP/Vista/7. it is capable of recording all keys strokes.
Buy it from Amazon (Price : $68.99)
(2) 64K PS/2 hardware keylogger
Buy it from Amazon (Price : $39.89)
How to protect yourself from keyloggers
Many of us uses public computer or any computer other than your personal one, in that case there might be a keylogger running on that system. Really ? yeah! but don’t worry it’s very simple to protect from most of the keyloggers. The simple tips is to always use on-screen keyboard to enter confidential data on untrusted computers, although you should also avoid using public computer for such confidential work.
Warning! The purpose of this post is to explain keylogging on Ubuntu! So if you use this information for illegal activities then you will be responsible. Remember, whether the keylogging is legal or illegal, it all depends on how you are using the captured data (Your Karma and intention), e.g just for learning or research => legal use; on the other hand if you use it for cracking into other accounts or stealing credit card details then of course it will be illegal.