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Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ex-husband gets Jail Time for Keylogger

It’s taken almost two years but a Schenectady man has finally admitted to putting spyware on his ex-wife's computer and logging her activity. David Monty who pleaded guilty to stalking and felony eavesdropping now faces a sentence of 18 months to 3 years.


Go to jail


According to court documents, Monty created a blog in his ex-wife's name and disclosed information about her clients. He also emailed this information and blog links to the five physicians she worked for. He collected information by intercepting her E-mail, Instant message conversations and passwords. She was soon fired and had to search for new employment.


Much of his sentence has already been spent in Schenectady County Jail and he could be eligible for parole this spring. The victim who said “It’s done and over with and I can get on with my life” also acknowledged she’ll be writing letters encouraging the the parole board to keep Monty safely behind bars for his full sentence. She also received a five year order of protection.


As I’ve written before, use of key logger spyware is despicable. This software is sold openly as a tool for parents to spy on this kids but it is more commonly used for illegal and destructive purposes.

Links:
Bits from Bill: WinPatrol 14 Enhances Keylogger Detection

PC World: WinPatrol Adds Keylogger Detection


Scotty Icon Free Download WinPatrol 2007

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill,

Alcohol abuse by drunks Murders (not kills) over 25,000 americans a year. I think we should try proibition again don't you?

Keylogging software can and does keep kids safe.

So what a few people "abuse" it, you need to take a step back and realize that it is necessary for the overall good.

Steve

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wrong. If parents are really that worried about what their kids do, take an active role in what they're looking at and discuss what's good to look at online. There are also programs that block inappropriate web sites, or you could just create a password for your computer so your kids can't access it when you aren't around.

Keylogging does not keep kids safe, it allows you to reprimand them when they do something 'bad.' Take a pro-active role isntead of a reactive one.

Keyloggers are unnecessary, so I agree that most (productive) uses of these tools are for illegal purposes.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Darth AkSarBen said...

Prohibition would not manage to solve a thing. knifes don't kill, swords don't kill and neither do bullets kill, but people kill. The "Abuse" of alcohol by people should have a zero tolerance by legislature/judges/state laws. If multi offenders were not plea bargained to "first offense" and did some actual jail time, perhaps LONG jail time, it is better than any prohibition ever though of being. (ex Deputy Sheriff of 8 years)

In regards to key loggers, there is no real place for this. I would not want it on my computer at work, and I think it's a breech of trust.

Thanks for putting the key logger setup on the free version. Perhaps it might save someone a whole heap of misery.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ever been taken to the cleaners by a dishonest spouse who was making everyones life around you miserable?

Probably not....

Regardless, I wish I had a keylogger (or similar tool) installed on MY pc back in the '90's.

It would have provided the information that could have put a true criminal behind bars.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said "There are also programs that block inappropriate web sites, or you could just create a password for your computer so your kids can't access it when you aren't around"

True, but what will you do to protect your kids when they use a friends PC or a PC at the library? How will they learn what's right and wrong when they move out? You have to teach your kids - no one else can do it. Inspect what you expect. Trust but verify, or whatever you want to call it.

Teach them what's right and wrong, then inspect what they do to ensure they're doing the right thing. That way they won't be suckered in by something they've never heard of when you're not there to protect them.

Using password protection or site blocking software is like the security guys using "security via obscurity". It'll work for awhile, but eventually someone finds the hole and you're toast.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous mlrichardson said...

The difference, here is who's getting keylogged. I'll bet practically anything you ask (the first) Anonymous would go into orbit if and when they found someone had added a keylogger to their computer without telling them. It's also something that, if it doesn't fall under "illegal search and seizure" should. If Anonymous were willing to tell anyone who used his/her computer there was a keylogger installed beforehand, there's nothing wrong with that. ...but I'll bet at that point there would be almost no takers!

Ain't fair, and shouldn't be legal. You should treat everyone as you would want to be treated.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous A Smart Parent said...

I am a parent that installed a "keylogger" on my childs pc. I installed it to monitor his "MySpace" activities. I caught him looking at internet porn. He lied about it at first then told the truth. Without the keylogger, I would not have had the opportunity to reiterate my opposition to porn of any type.

"Wrong. If parents are really that worried about what their kids do, take an active role..."

My only response to the quote above is...

Whatever.

I have since installed a gateway content filter. It cannot be bypassed. I still use the keylogger. At lest until I obtain the means to obtain a copy of my child's "sent" emails.

Bring back prohibition, and you will 1) ensure a tax increase, 2) ensure ordinary people will once again become criminals, and 3) ensure that organized crime will grow once again.

Make guns illegal, and people will use sticks, cut down the trees, and they will use rocks.

People do bad things. They always will.

Do not give up you constitutional rights for the illusion of security!

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the parent who relies on reactive tactics: I can't help but feel sorry for your child but I'm sure as heck happy you weren't my parent.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Qwester said...

Quester says,
Bravo, Smart Parent. Kids all go through a period of challenging the rules. They can and often do naughty things just for kicks. Key loggers and sent email monitors are a good start.

Concealed carry would have saved the five women murdered near Chicago.

All liberty was obtained with guns and can be retained only with individuals with guns willing to die for it.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay all. Keylogging is a slippery slope at best. As a parent and a computer tech at a middle school, I can honestly and unequivocably say that parental involvement is paramount (that means most important) BUT, the problem really is that parents who have not done such a great job up until the point where their kid is online (past SECOND grade) are too far behind the proverbial eight ball. Yes, there are some parents who use it to "Verify" that their child is on the right path, but others incorrectly see it as the "answer" to their problems. Truth is, that ALL kids are curious and just because they peruse some porn does not lump them into the category of grown ADULT PRIESTS who have done far worse. The point there is that religion or the loss thereof is irrelevant. The bottom line: Proper parenting in the early stages of childhood is more important and easier than playing catchup and Keyloggers are great for personal edification such as satisfying one's fears of a cheating spouse or that a teenager needs redirection. They shoudl not be used or even needed to PROVE anything. If your spouse is cheating, there will be more than hot steamy emails and if your kid is curious, that is normal. If you cannot remember all the things you were thinking of as a kid or all the ways you were getting "over", you need to reflect upon that before you resort ot Keyloggers to "solve" your problems.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Joe Doaks said...

(second time, sigh)
Both sides of issue here.

Took a long time and much frustration to remove a logger.

Caught an employee downloading XXX (underage stuff!)

Courts are the problem !

"" if "" they applied existing laws uniformly and consistently crime would decrease.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Bill, that keyloggers are not the solution.

There are other internet monitoring programs (I use it for myself, also for security purposes, it allows me to avoid all the spyware sites), without the need of any keylogger.

I think it is better to educate into responsible behaviour. We have no right to act repressive manner with children, if we as adults do the same.

It is better to tell people, that pornography has nothing exciting about it, it is very boring (they always do the same scenarios, without any love into it), it is much better to have an actual girlfriend, and discover true love with a real girlfriend.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Hoo said...

I have seen parental control / keyloggers directly destroy a kid. A wholesome, very good and smart 13 ½ year old came home to his overprotective mom after visiting his dad for the weekend. Over the weekend she had professionals come in to have the computer locked down with super parent software. This kid, who had no signs of trouble was punished for entering puberty and his mom just feared that he would start getting an interest in viewing porn. It sounds backwards but early on mom had no worries over computer usage, when the teenage years hit she went hog wild and started limiting and locking him out from shopping/porn sites and everything else, as well as spying on everything he does. He was able to listen to music samples at Napster at 11, then no Napster access at all and getting keylogged at 13 ½. All for a well behaved, very smart, non-problematic kid.

Can anyone guess the end result? The boy is now 16 and in juvenile custody. At 13 ½ , before all the keylogging and parental controls were thrown into his life the boy was circled by straight-A, gifted program friends. None of his friends at 13 were thrown into the distrusted arena by their parents with nonsense keylogging / parental software control. Us parents believed in our kids and took the parental path of instilling loyalty, trust, and responsibility. All of those/our kids are still ultra excelling and very reliable young men. I'm not saying they do but who cares if they get hold of a naked picture online and beat off to it then get on with their day? Isn't that kind of normal? To me that is nothing close to a reason or worry to go into total lock down mode with tons of controls.

Anyway what happened to Alex, the 13 ½ year old who entered puberty and came home to meet the new key logging / parental controls? He slowly modified his peer group. He gravitated toward the very few other kids that had similar restrictions put on their computers. As you can guess these were behavioral issue kids that probably warranted the keylogging and parental controls. Hey didn't Alex suddenly have a common goal with this new peer group? Of course. Any kid will seek to work around parental control software and keylogging. His old friends didn't have to bother with any of that stuff. So yes Alex was redirected to a problematic group of new friends as he worked diligently at their side to restore the freedoms he once had. Did I mention some of these new friends were also starting to experiment with drugs? The story just goes down hill to the point where three of them stole a car resulting in a horrible incident. The once wholesome 13 year olds life is probably ruined.

As one of the parents of Alex's old friends all I can say is a negative outcome seemed obvious at the time. We were all very baffled. When Alex's overprotective mother added all the controls he was extremely hurt, embarrassed and ashamed. What's an eighth grade boy tell a cute girl in school when she asks him for his AOL instant messenger name? "Uh, I have parental controls at home and I can't instant message". Or "I can ask my mommy if she will allow it but every part of the messaging will be monitored". Unreasonable parenting? That's just criminal, some people shouldn't be parents. While lending all the support we could we literally watched this child meltdown and go down a bad path. Parental controls/keyloggers should ONLY be used in extreme cases such as a teen that is causing havoc on the internet or doing so poor in school because of too much focus on the internet. Never for a stock reason of "My boys a teenager now, I have to start controlling and watching everything he does online". A very wrong reason at a very critical age.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Sassisailor said...

A comment on Hoo's assertion re. Parental controls. I say blaming Alex's problems on mothers installing parental control is pretty far-fetched. These problems develop over a long period and for a lot of reasons. More likely his behavior is due to mis-guided parenting and neglect from both parents. If we could really know the truth, it would reveal both parents to blame for putting this child into a broken home environment. The kid likely spends hours alone with little supervision due to working parents. His attitude toward women is being shaped by two selfish, angry people who should have bought a puppy instead of creating this situation for this young man.
Easy divorce and prideful people are destroying the childhood of a high percentage of our children and grandchildren. Really dedicated parents don't need keyloggers, but loving attention and close supervision are always a part the tough job of parenting. That includes some sacrifice and effort to keep the marriage viable, no matter what for the sake of the child. Kids naturally need a man and a woman, Mom and Dad for direction, support, discipline, and example.

Good parenting includes restricting time on the computer along with time in front of the TV, or for video games. The best Parental Control for all these non-productive activities is for Mom or Dad to be at home with the kid and involved.
As a society, we naively admire the single-parent home. I sadly think "failure" when this is proclaimed. While some are unavoidable, most ae caused by unwarranted egos and selfishness.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I realize this is an old article but I laugh at the blame in both directions. I was a kid whose mom missed her calling as a spy. The house was bugged, calls secretly recorded, no internet back then but my room was regularly ransacked and even carpet pulled back just to see if I was hiding stuff. What the protective parents dont realize is that kids know you better than you think. And all you are doing is creating a better criminal.

It got to the point that my mom's own best friends would cover for me and say I slept at their house so I could go out occasionally.

Kids might get crazy but they are more likely to get that way anyway when big stress hits. What I did was act the angel and had we internet back then, I would have spiked my data with church groups and nice girl discussions and used a computer at a friends or library.

I'm now 40 and my mom sees that her paranoia got her nothing but headaches and sleepless nights. We now laugh at the lengths to which we both went to make our point or have our way.

I was there when My mom confronted her best friend (mom couldn't conceal her smile though as she did) "Some friend you are!" and her friend replied, "I'm sorry... but back then you practically BEGGED for people to lie to you."

Now I am a fine upstanding citizen, and so are my friends who were raised by parents who practically drank the 80s away and dont remember their child when they were young they were so absent. Two fellow class mates went down the wrong path and both had great parents who raised other great kids.

I just think too many who replied where a bit hysterical in their emphatic examples of how they are right. Kid are resilient and there is a range of good enough parenting.
(The the alcoholic ones were not good enough but my point is that some things are bigger than just the parents... most things actually)

So to key-loggers; There are many ways to gain the information you want. Most kids who are not policed too closely and who have a good relationship with their parents are still sloppy. My kid leaves his myspace and emails up accidentally about 4 times a week. I sit down expecting that it is my emails and quickly get an eye full. Usually it is emails of him parroting the advise I have given him to others. Tempting to blacklist the friends that are having sex so the bf wont leave or the friends smoking pot but I cant tell him he may choose from only these three kids at school to be friends with.

But if he knew I saw that, he would probably add a few more pass words and forget to shut the page again anyways.

I on the other hand knew for sure i was being followed and am PRO at watching my step.

I cant help but think that the victim in the original story choose someone of poor moral character. There are always clues.

12:17 PM  

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