Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Shame on Windows Secrets Newsletter

I’m a big fan of all the folks who publish the Windows Secrets Newsletter but today an article by Scott Dunn gave me chills.  Scott reviewed a number of keylogging programs under the premise of good parenting.

Are your kids visiting sites you disapprove of, or is your schnauzer making unauthorized purchases of doggie biscuits on eBay?”

Scott did his homework on the functionality of keyloggers but neglected to understand how often these programs are used for malicious intent. In my own research, I spent a great deal of time listening to the folks at NNEDV(National Network to End Domestic Violence). If Scott had talked with anyone who deals with domestic violence he would understand just how horrible and dangerous these programs are. Their primary customers are not parents.

These programs know they’ll be used for no good and try to ease their guilt with weak warnings. They are not a replacement for proper parental supervision.  The risk and degree of pain caused by the evil use of these programs doesn’t make up for any legitimate usage.

When I was researching keyloggers to verify WinPatrol would detect them I couldn’t help but laugh at the following disclaimers.

Bogus warning for keylogger

Another bogus Keylogger warning

Aside from this faux pas, I still recommend the Windows Secrets Newsletter. They’ve given some good reviews of my efforts with WinPatrol in the past. They also announced that Fred Langa is coming out of retirement and will be contributing again which was the best news in today’s newsletter.

See: Ex-Husband Gets Jail Time for Keylogger

Thanks to all my friends on Twitter who helped me figure out how to spell “faux pas”.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keylogging has to be among the lease effective ways to protect your children on the Internet.

I see absolutely NO legit reason for a keylogger that doesn't announce itself, on any personal computer in a household.

If the keylogger was honestly meant to protect, then it would announce its purpose and serve as a deterrent to bad surfing behavior.

Let's just be honest about the topic and admit virtually nobody uses a keylogger for honest purposes.

Nice job, as usual, Bill.

-The Dean

7:41 PM  
Blogger Big Geek Daddy said...

I read the same newsletter tonight and was dismayed to see him review keyloggers of all things. They serve no useful purpose other than to invade someone else's privacy.

Nice job Bill for calling him out on this!

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the thought-provoking blog entry.

Gives me something I can refer to when people discuss commercial keyloggers and should they be detected etc. :)

4:11 AM  

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