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Hundreds of HP laptop models installed with 'keylogger' security flaw

By Ray Downs
Hundreds of HP laptop models installed with 'keylogger' security flaw
A programmer shows a sample of a ransomware cyberattack on a laptop in Taipei, Taiwan on May 13. This month, a security researcher found a 'keylogger' flaw in hundreds of HP laptops. File Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA

Dec. 11 (UPI) -- At least 460 models models of Hewlett-Packard laptops since 2012 have a pre-installed "keylogger" function that records every keystroke, which hackers can use to obtain sensitive information, a security researcher revealed.

On his blog, researcher Michael Myng wrote last week that he was trying to figure out how to control a backlight on an HP laptop when he "noticed a few interesting things."

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What Myng found was a hidden keylogger, which can send records of keystrokes to a hacker. And the code that Myng had located was designed to send those records to an unnamed target, according to TechCrunch.

"So, I messaged HP about the finding," Myng wrote. "They replied terrificly fast, confirmed the presence of the keylogger (which actually was a debug trace) and released an update that removes the trace."

HP said the keylogger code was originally built into the computer's Synaptics software to help debug errors, the BBC reported. The company acknowledged the keylogger function could lead to a "loss of confidentiality" but said it doesn't have access to customer data.

HP published a full list of laptops affected by the keylogger with directions on how to remove it.

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