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What is a Keylogger?

A Keylogger is a special type of software or hardware that allows a user’s keyboard input to be recorded and archived on a computer. With such a tool it is possible to obtain confidential data or to spy out credit card information and passwords.

High-performance tools for recording confidential data

Translated into German, Keylogger means something like “logging keystrokes”. Such a tool can be implemented either as software or as hardware.

It is able to log all keystrokes, monitor a computer user and obtain confidential information, such as:

  • Access data
  • PINs
  • Passwords

This type of software or hardware is primarily used by cybercriminals, investigative authorities or government intelligence services. According to current statistics, the growth of malware with Keylogger functionality is increasing exponentially. The recorded information can be stored either locally on the victim’s hard drive or at a server. Depending on the type of Keyloggers, it can either selectively record predefined keystrokes or unrestrictedly record all data.

Advantages and disadvantages

Keylog tools are used in many companies for the purpose of employee monitoring. In this context, loggers offer some interesting advantages. For example, it can be quite helpful to use a logger to see which URLs employees are accessing. However, this monitoring can also have an extremely negative impact on morale and internal relationships within a company.


Keylogger may not be used without the explicit consent of the persons to be spied on. Anyone who nevertheless does so is liable to prosecution for unauthorised spying on data in accordance with §202a of the German Criminal Code. If a logger is to be used on a company computer, both the consent of the works council and the education of the user are required.
Software-based loggers nest themselves in the operating system and work between the OS and the keyboard driver of a computer. Keystrokes are thus taken directly from the driver and sent simultaneously to both the logger and the OS. Depending on the type of logger, the recorded data is either stored locally on the target system’s hard drive or transmitted to a server. Software-based loggers are the most common type of Keyloggern.
Yes they exist! These hardware-based Keylogger, are installed between the keyboard and the computer. In the majority of cases, such loggers are equipped with a common USB interface on both sides and can act as an intermediate plug between the keyboard and the computer’s USB port. Hardware-based loggers are equipped with an integrated memory where all collected data is stored.

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Conclusion of the OM Optimiser team

Keylog tools are a serious threat to the security of one’s own data. In Germany, their use without the explicit consent of the person to be spied on is illegal and always represents a violation of the privacy of the person being observed.

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