Some models of HP laptops have been found to include a keylogger which secretly records all user’s keystrokes, security researchers have warned.
According to Swiss security firm Modzero, the information collected by the keylogger was stored in a way which meant it could be easily compromised.
The keylogger was found hidden inside an audio driver developed by audio chip manufacturer Conexant which has included in a driver package which was available to download from the HP website, and which came preinstalled on certain HP laptop models.
The aim of the driver was to recognise when a certain key was pressed, in order to perform a particular task such as turn the microphone off or change the recording level of the computer.
But instead it was found to be keeping a record of every single keystroke made on the keyboard and logging it in a text file stored on the user’s hard drive.
Modzero said the keylogger has been on HP laptops since 2015 and 28 models running both Windows 7 to Windows 10 have been found to be affected. Other manufacturers using the same driver may also be affected.
The HP laptops affected are:
HP ProBook 450 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 430 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 440 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 446 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 470 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 455 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 725 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 745 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 755 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 1030 G1 Notebook PC
HP ZBook 15u G3 Mobile Workstation
HP Elite x2 1012 G1 Tablet
HP Elite x2 1012 G1 with Travel Keyboard
HP Elite x2 1012 G1 Advanced Keyboard
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 Notebook PC
HP ZBook 17 G3 Mobile Workstation
HP ZBook 15 G3 Mobile Workstation
HP ZBook Studio G3 Mobile Workstation
HP EliteBook Folio G1 Notebook PC
Tech site ZDNet reports that HP has issued a patch to fix the issue.
“HP is committed to the security and privacy of its customers and we are aware of the keylogger issue on select HP PCs. HP has no access to customer data as a result of this issue,” HP said in a statement.
The company also confirmed that it had made an update available on Windows Update and HP.com for 2016 models or later, while 2015 models were expected to be patched on Friday, ZDNet reported