HP said that nearly 500 different laptop models have a dangerous bug that can record everything you type



HP

  • A dormant keylogger was discovered in nearly 500
    different HP laptop models.
  • Keyloggers can record your keystrokes, which pose a
    security and privacy threat to users.
  • Hackers would need physical access to your computer to
    activate the keylogger.
  • HP has issued a list of affected models, as well as
    software updates to fix the issue. 

A security researcher discovered a vulnerability in a common
piece of software that comes pre-installed on several laptop
brands and models.

This specific bug was discovered in the Synaptics software that
controls keyboard and trackpad inputs on 460 different HP laptop
models, including various versions of the HP Pavilion, the HP
EliteBook and the HP ProBook.

The bug is referred to as a “keylogger,” which can record your
keystrokes. A keylogger can be dangerous in the hands of a
hacker, as it can record and send your keystrokes to potentially
reveal sensitive information, like your passwords. 

FILE PHOTO: A man types into a keyboard during the Def Con hacker convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. on July 29, 2017. REUTERS/Steve Marcus Thomson
Reuters

Thankfully, the keylogger in the Synaptics software on HP laptops
is disabled by default, and a hacker would need a laptop’s
administrative rights to enable it. That means a hacker would
need physical access to an affected HP laptop to enable the
keylogger. 

“Neither Synaptics nor HP has access to customer data as a result
of this issue,” HP said on its support page.

Still, it’s worth covering all your bases and taking action. HP
has issued a list of the
affected laptop models
, as well as software updates to
install and fix the bug. If you don’t know your HP laptop’s
model, you can check for a sticker underneath the laptop that
might contain the model number.

It was not immediately clear whether the bug was due to a flaw in
Synaptics’ software or in the way that the Synaptics technology
was integrated into HP laptops.

HP’s special support page about the situation mentions that the
bug can affect “all Synaptics OEM partners,” which suggests
that any laptop brand that uses Synaptics for keyboard and
trackpad control can be affected.

Synaptics shares were down 1.8% at $38.22 in regular
trading on Monday, while HP shares were up nearly 1%.

Synaptics and HP did not immediately return requests for
comment. 

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