Nearly 500 HP Laptop Models Tainted By Keylogger Lurking In Synaptics Driver

Hewlett-Packard has come under increased scrutiny over the past week after it was uncovered that keylogging software was found in a Synaptics touchpad driver installed on its laptop computers. The keylogger was present in debugging code, and was thankfully disabled by default. However, an attacker with physical (or remote) access to a computer could have activated the keylogger by modifying a registry key for their own nefarious purposes.
keyboard man

Security researcher Michael Myng was the first to discover the inactive keylogger while attempting modify the backlight levels on an HP laptop keyboard. It was during his investigation into the driver, SynTP.sys, that he came across the dormant code.

Naturally, Myng did the right thing and reached out to HP to inquire about what he had discovered. "They replied terrifically fast, confirmed the presence of the keylogger and released an update that removes the trace."

Myng's disclosure of the dormant keylogger that he found comes exactly one month after HP released an update to address the issues (in which it credited Myng). Although HP doesn't go into the great detail that Myng does on his website, it did provide the following statement:

A potential security vulnerability has been identified with certain versions of Synaptics touchpad drivers that impacts all Synaptics OEM partners. A party would need administrative privileges in order to take advantage of the vulnerability. Neither Synaptics nor HP has access to customer data as a result of this issue.

Nearly 500 HP laptop are affected, so if you haven't already done so, now would be the perfect opportunity to download updated Synaptics touchpad drivers for your specific device -- right now!

(Image Source: Ed Ivanushkin/flickr)