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More than 460 HP laptop models come with a pre-installed keylogger

Pre-installed keylogger found in 460 HP laptop models in December 2017 (Source: Dash Force News)
HP laptops still come with pre-installed keylogger (Source: Dash Force News)
Although this is not the first time it happens this year, HP has been caught red-handed once again. This time, the keylogger has been found in the Synaptics touchpad driver that ships with more than 460 HP notebook models.
Codrut Nistor,
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Back in May, it became public that HP laptops came with a keylogger nicely packed inside their official audio driver files. Last month, a spyware known as "HP Touchpoint Analytics Client" was identified as well. Now, it looks like the time has come for a third poisoned apple (and apparently the worst of them all) from HP to be discovered.

According to a Twitter message that surfaced online last week, independent security researcher ZwClose discovered a keylogger in the SynTP.sys file. His message says the following: "Oh well. Keylogger in HP's SynTP.sys. Off by default. Vendor contacted. Fix released and pushed. Blog post is on the way."

The blog post he mentioned has been published on December 7 and can be checked here (it includes a lot of technical details, so consider yourselves warned). 

The good part is that, in the end, HP moved really fast and published a security bulletin the same day, including a (very long!) list of software updates that can take care of the problem. To access all these updates, just go to this page.

Those wondering about the details of this security issue should just know that the keylogger could allow third parties to record every keystroke and steal all sensitive data, including passwords and credit card details. According to HP, this keylogger was nothing but a debug trace that has been left there by accident. Since it was disabled by default, HP might be right. However, enabling it only requires the change of a single registry value, so this accident could have led to a major security issue for thousands of users.

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Codrut Nistor
Codrut Nistor - Senior Tech Writer - 5436 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2013
In my early school days, I hated writing and having to make up stories. A decade later, I started to enjoy it. Since then, I published a few offline articles and then I moved to the online space, where I contributed to major websites that are still present online as of 2021 such as Softpedia, Brothersoft, Download3000, but I also wrote for multiple blogs that have disappeared over the years. I've been riding with the Notebookcheck crew since 2013 and I am not planning to leave it anytime soon. In love with good mechanical keyboards, vinyl and tape sound, but also smartphones, streaming services, and digital art.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 12 > More than 460 HP laptop models come with a pre-installed keylogger
Codrut Nistor, 2017-12-11 (Update: 2017-12-11)