Keylogger found in Synaptics driver on HP laptops

Valentina Palladino

Security researcher Michael Myng was the first to discover the inactive keylogger while attempting modify the backlight levels on an HP laptop keyboard.

A keylogger is capable of stealthily recording everything the user types on the keyboard (like logins and passwords), so this is clearly a major problem.

HP's advisory stated that the vulnerability "impacts all Synaptics OEM partners", so we can expect a rash of driver updates to be released in the fugure. While the driver's ability to log keystrokes was disabled by default, it is still a serious security risk that should be fixed on all users of HP laptops. Micheal Myng, also known as ZwClose, discovered a keylogger hidden inside HP's Synaptics Touchpad driver whilst he was looking through the driver's "strings". "A party would need administrative privileges in order to take advantage of the vulnerability", the bulletin states.

"I messaged HP about the finding", Myng said.

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ZwClose wrote that a fix will also land in Windows Update. More than 460 models have been affected, dating back to 2012, according to the list released by HP.

At the time of writing there was no updates yet available for some of the affected laptops. You will need your laptop's model number to grab the right one.

Myng alerted HP, which he says responded "terrificly fast", in confirming the presence of the keylogger. Now, it appears there's yet another keylogger embedded in a piece of HP software.

HP described the issue as a "local loss of confidentiality", meaning that any keylogging that would be taking place would be happening on the device. To see if you have the affected driver, you can go to the C:\Windows\System32\drivers folder and look at the properties of the SynTP.sys driver as shown below. Taking the few minutes necessary to patch your PC could save you from a world of hurt later on if your PC were to be compromised.

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