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Can one test if a device entails a "hardware" key logger?

I already checked How do I detect keystroke loggers in a reliable way?

In particular I am interested to know if hardware key loggers can be embedded inside a usb of a wifi mouse or keyboard? & is there a way to test them?

Add like to add to the question: how? How can I detected a hardware logger in a generic device?

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Detected by what? Sight, software, heat, RF? Or by anything? – Dave Dec 24 '12 at 12:21
anything; detect it with all possible means! – user10853 Dec 25 '12 at 16:30
I've edited the question asking how? – user10853 Dec 26 '12 at 22:04
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Well, there is a way to test for it, but it depends on what protocol is being used.

For example, the purpose of a logger is to send the details some where, so maybe the UAC in Windows, an advanced Firewall or AV can detect the message being sent out.

However, if the logger is built with a SIM or similar, then no!

If it is a physical device then you can detect it by eye, but I doubt software could detect it.

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Think the OP is talking about hardware dongles that are put between input hardware and computer and later on read by disconnecting/accessing them. – Mario Dec 24 '12 at 12:07
@Mario - thank you for the comment, I've updated my answer to reflect this. – Dave Dec 24 '12 at 12:13
@DaveRook exactly; for example it could be added to the mini usb wifi! But how well could an one hide it? – user10853 Dec 25 '12 at 16:31

It is possible (in theory anyway) to embed an acoustic keylogger into pretty much anything, and that will make this possible (and it is not possible to detect).

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If it is not possible to detect, then how is it accessed by whoever installed it? – Michael Kjörling Dec 24 '12 at 12:58
@MichaelKjörling hardware keyloggers will usually have a key combination which triggers them and dumps the stored data. – Renan Dec 24 '12 at 13:18
@MichaelKjörling or in this case, it could just have its own transmitter – soandos Dec 24 '12 at 19:53
@Renan If it is hardware, it has to have at least some amount of circuitry. That circuitry, while perhaps non-obvious and likely concealed, would surely be possible to detect in some manner. Whether it would be easy is quite another matter. – Michael Kjörling Dec 24 '12 at 22:19
@soandos definitely it should have a transmitter; then why would the keylogger be there? Moreover, the data could be sent through internet; most systems allow (by default) all outgoing traffic! Of course that somehow can be detected by monitoring the traffic. – user10853 Dec 25 '12 at 16:35

Are we talking about generic hardware or some supposed-to-be-made secure hardware?

First case you're probably out of luck unless the logger makes some mistake.

Second case I could imagine some kind of encryption, which would obviously break compatibility as a standard HID device/keyboard.

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well I was thinking of a regular wifi keyboard/mouse from some known company; couldn't someone add to it a logger? – user10853 Dec 25 '12 at 16:44
Yes, as long as it's a generic keyboard/mouse, you can add hardware in the line to parse/record data without it being noticeable. – Mario Dec 25 '12 at 17:29

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