Many hackers and script kiddies like keyloggers because of the tools’ capabilities. The easy to use software or hardware collects every activity going on in a victim’s device. Keyloggers are a threat to users and information, but as an ethical hacker, you should be aware of how you can leverage the tools for ethical hacking.
This article lists some of the best keyloggers for hacking. The post also helps you understand keylogging basics, which is essential in combating keyloggers’ usage by cybercriminals. However, you should use the tools cautiously.
- 1 What is Keylogging?
- 2 How Does a Keylogger Function?
- 3 Using Keylogger as a Hacking Tool
- 4 Best Keylogger for Hacking
- 5 Hardware-Based Keyloggers
- 5.1 1. KeyGrabber TimeKeeper USB
- 5.2 2. Wi-Fi Premium USB MCP Hardware KeyLogger 2GB
- 5.3 3. KeyGrabber Pico USB 8GB
- 5.4 4. Keylogger Mini USB 3.0
- 5.5 5. AirDrive Forensic Keylogger Pro
- 5.6 Software-Based Keyloggers
- 5.7 6. BestXSoftware
- 5.8 7. Actual Keylogger
- 5.9 8. Revealer
- 5.10 9. Spyrix
- 5.11 10. Elite Keylogger
- 5.12 11. Wolfeye Keylogger
- 5.13 12. All-In-One Keylogger
- 5.14 13. Total Logger
What is Keylogging?
Keylogging is a process of recording each keystroke you enter, including mouse clicks. There are both software and hardware keyloggers available for the task. Users install software keyloggers, just like any other computer program. On the other hand, they use a hardware keylogger by inserting the tool between a keyboard and CPU.
Keylogging became popular in the mid-1970s with the advent of the Soviet Union’s hardware keylogger targeting typewriters. In the same period, spies installed keystroke loggers in the US Embassy and Consulate buildings in Moscow. Perry Kivolowitz developed an early software keylogger and posted to the Usenet newsgroup net.UNIX-wizards, net.sources on November 17, 1983.
Since then, a tool that was previously uncommon and popular among top examination organizations and spies became a typical element accessible to all individuals.
How Does a Keylogger Function?
Keylogger software or hardware is easy to install and use. After the installation process, the tool collects every activity happening in a victim’s computer. Some keyloggers record every activity with screenshots. Depending on the tool and setup, the keylogger can save the information on the victim’s system, mail the attacker, or upload the files to an FTP server. Some keyloggers send recorded information via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
A keylogger takes a screen capture when a victim performs an action like clicking the mouse. It functions without the user discovering that a tool is recording all the keystrokes.
Some of the user’s actions that keylogger records include email messages, writings, and website URLs that a victim visits.
Apart from keyboard triggered activities, some keyloggers can capture additional information like clip logging, which involves anything duplicated on the clipboard. The tool can also perform screen logging by logging randomly coordinated screen captures. Some keyloggers can record program queries, instant message conversations, FTP downloads, and other Internet activities. Other keylogging tools can track activities like recording and taking screenshots of every open program, window, and folder.
Using Keylogger as a Hacking Tool
Hacking a device remotely is difficult. But when a hacker has physical access to a victim’s target machine, the task becomes incredibly simple. A hacker can install a stealthy little USB hacking device into the back of the target PC or laptops to install keylogger programs.
Keyloggers give hackers a path of least resistance. These hacking tools are difficult to detect. In the case of a hardware keylogger, the tool sits silently in the back of the victim’s device.
Cybercriminals can distribute and install software-based keyloggers programs when unsuspecting users click on links or open attachments from phishing emails. In other cases, hackers use webpage scripts to install keyloggers. They exploit a vulnerable browser and launch the tool when a victim visits a malicious site.
An ethical hacker commissioned to pen-test a client can install a keylogger from the get-go without the knowledge of the target. The penetration tester can install several keylogging devices and software into unsuspecting employees’ PCs. This tactic generates results that stun and impress the client in equal measure.
Apart from hacking, guardians use keyloggers to monitor their kids’ online activities. Employers use the tools to monitor their employees’ keystrokes to improve productivity for remote workers.
Best Keylogger for Hacking
These are some of the keyloggers that you can use for hacking:
1. KeyGrabber TimeKeeper USB
This tool is a masterpiece at disguise. The keylogger looks so innocuous it will almost escape the attention of an unsuspecting user. The KeyGrabber tool records each keystroke using a timestamp. The tool transmits recorded information via a Wi-Fi signal. KeyGrabber’s installation is straightforward since it does not require any extra drivers.
Besides, the hardware keylogger features a massive 8 GB of data, so you can be sure that it will track each keystroke for years to come. The scary thing is that, for the most part, KeyGrabber is transparent to regular PC operations, and users cannot detect it easily with security scanners.
2. Wi-Fi Premium USB MCP Hardware KeyLogger 2GB
This tool emails automatic reports featuring recorded keyboard data. The keylogger provides 100 percent MAC compatibility. Developers designed the Wi-Fi Premium USB MCP keylogger with the laziest hacker in mind due to its user-friendliness.
The keylogger has a built-in timestamping module and offers a huge memory capacity of 2GB.
3. KeyGrabber Pico USB 8GB
You attach the KeyGrabber Pico USB to the back of a PC tower and then place a regular USB make end into it. The device is one of the smallest in the market, with a length of 0.8″ (20 mm).
The keylogger works with any USB keyboard, including those with built-in hubs. Users do not require extra software or drivers to install and use KeyGrabber Pico. The tool is also transparent to computer operations and undetectable for security scanners.
You can purchase KeyGrabber Pico on Amazon.
4. Keylogger Mini USB 3.0
The Keylogger Mini USB 3.0 does not require remote configuration. The device is suitable for ethical hackers with physical access to a targets’ machine.
The keylogger works on popular operating systems, such as Windows 7, 8, and 10, where it records all keystrokes to a hidden file.
The tool acts like a normal USB storage device with 4GB storage.
However, Keylogger Mini USB 3.0 does not work on Linux or Apple.
5. AirDrive Forensic Keylogger Pro
This USB hardware keylogger features Wi-Fi connectivity, 16MB flash, email, and live data transfer. AirDrive Forensic Pro is one of the smallest keyloggers in the market, with a size of 0.4″ (10 mm).
The tool emails reports, timestamping, and live data streaming over the network. It is also compatible with barcode readers. AirDrive Forensic Keylogger’s memory is protected by hardware encryption.
Apart from hardware-based keyloggers, you can download some of the best free keyloggers from the Internet. So, keep reading this post to learn more about the best software keyloggers.
BestXSoftware Keylogger stores all keystrokes, chats, emails, Facebook email, passwords, and URL visits. The tool sends recorded information to hackers via emails.
BestXSoftware capabilities include recording keystrokes, monitoring clipboard, capturing screenshots, monitoring internet activities, monitoring local applications, creating HTML reports, offering advanced filtering, scheduling monitoring, and protecting passwords.
Besides, the keylogger has a friendly report and screenshot viewer. The tool works invisibly in the background, and it is password protected. In that event, only the user who installed the keylogger can see or open the tools using the password. Even antivirus software cannot detect BestXSoftware.
7. Actual Keylogger
Actual keylogger monitors any user activity on a target computer, letting you know what your target is doing on the device. The software keeps track of programs run or closed, websites visited, and keystrokes pressed. Actual Keylogger can also record screenshots and clipboard content.
Actual keylogger is available for Windows and Mac. Once configured, the software screen captures for a set time, encrypts log files for all activities, and generates reports in HTML and text formats.
Apart from that, the keylogger offers advanced capabilities like standard and hidden operating modes, invisibility in all operating systems in hidden mode, a convenient interface for screenshot and log view, fast installation, and flexible configuration.
Revealer Keylogger Free 2020 is a popular free monitoring software with over 10 million downloads. The software’s powerful algorithm can record everything users type on the keyboard, including passwords for any application such as Facebook, Skype, and email accounts.
Revealer provides an automatic screenshot feature where you can watch all the actions performed on the target computer. The tool captures active application screens when a user types or uses the mouse.
You can view the recorded text remotely with delivery via email, Dropbox, FTP, or LAN with Revealer. You can adjust the delivery frequency of the recorded screenshots and texts.
Revealer also features an invisible mode that allows the tool to remain undetectable in Windows’ tools like Windows Task Manager, Windows Explorer, or the registry.
CNET describes Revealer as the number one monitoring software, while Wired recommends the keylogger for Windows. According to Softonic, Revealer is among the most downloaded keylogger software with over 3 million downloads.
Spyrix provides full remote cloud monitoring. You can use the keylogger to monitor all the activity remotely from any location. Instead of downloading recorded files, Spyrix allows you to log in to an online account to view keystroke information.
Spyrix also offers live screen and web camera viewing. The tool is available for Windows (from XP and above) and web version on any desktop or mobile. The keylogger also monitors and records the activities conducted on social media platforms like Facebook, Messenger, Viber, Skype, WhatsApp, and Twitter.
You can create and download recorded data report from your online account.
10. Elite Keylogger
Elite Keylogger for Windows and Mac monitors a target computer to discover information about activities. The tool operates as a hidden camera. Parents can deploy Elite Keylogger to protect kids online, while employers use it to improve employees’ efficiency.
Hackers can deploy Elite Keylogger to record all keys typed on a computer while remaining completely invisible to the victim. The tool collects logs that can reveal passwords, documents, emails, chat messages, and everything that a user enters.
Elite Keylogger can record information a victim shares on different platforms, such as Skype, GTalk, AOL, and MSN. It can record both incoming and outgoing messages.
Elite Keylogger monitors computers remotely and emails logs to the hacker or uploads them to a server. The tool also offers excellent URL interception and a user-friendly interface.
11. Wolfeye Keylogger
Wolfeye Keylogger is a software solution to monitor user activities on a computer. The keylogger records all keystrokes, even passwords to email and Facebook accounts. Wolfeye captures all chats and instant messages.
Hackers can use this keylogger to steal email passwords and get access to social media accounts. Wolfeye also takes regular screenshots to reveal what the user views. The software conveniently emails all monitored data to the hacker.
12. All-In-One Keylogger
All-In-One keylogger is one of the most fully-featured keyloggers on the market today. The invisible tool collects keystrokes, screenshots, visited websites, sent and received messages in social media cates, printer tasks, change of files and folder directories, and more.
The keylogger is easy to use, with a one-click or preconfigured installation.
If the device you are monitoring has a webcam, All-In-One Keylogger can deploy it to record sounds or snap images in the room. This capability turns a victim’s device into a simple security surveillance system.
All-In-One keylogger offers various convenient log delivery methods, including FTP, email, LAN, or copying collected information to a USB drive.
Besides, the keylogger provides enhanced privacy through password protection and log encryption.
13. Total Logger
Total Logger is a comprehensive monitoring tool that can boast an impressive capability range, including keystrokes logging, screenshots capturing, file operations recording, site URL tracking, and social media chat monitoring. The keylogger also records sound and video from the victim’s webcam.
Reviewing Total Logger records is not a problem. The tool delivers the logs via email, LAN, FTP, or Dropbox. Hackers can get a complete picture of the victim’s PC activities without ever touching the computer.
Ultimately, a keylogger that records keystrokes and other actions on a target computer may look harmless. However, in the hands of cybercriminals, the tool can steal crucial information, such as passwords and financial data. Ethical hackers can learn more about keyloggers and use them for regular activities like penetration testing and training. This post features information about the best hardware and software-based keyloggers for hacking. Users should stay vigilant with a proactive and comprehensive security strategy to combat sophisticated keylogging activities.
I am a cyber security professional with a passion for delivering proactive strategies for day to day operational challenges. I am excited to be working with leading cyber security teams and professionals on projects that involve machine learning & AI solutions to solve the cyberspace menace and cut through inefficiency that plague today’s business environments.