Home > Our Products > Spyware on Rented PCs Spied and Photographed Unsuspecting Users

Spyware on Rented PCs Spied and Photographed Unsuspecting Users

It is a well-known fact that malicious software comes in varying degrees of sophistication in today’s world. There are some that are in the form of anonymous social media accounts that target unsuspecting users. There are others that steal your authentication codes for your online accounts, including your online bank accounts. Recently, a new type of malicious software called as ransomware was identified. This software held users’ personal information and released it only on the payment of a ransom amount. The case you are reading about today is the spyware that was planted on rental computers to get personal information of unsuspecting users.

Spyware On Rented PC

Spyware On Rented PCs Photographed Unsuspecting Users

 

Phenomenon Identified On a PC Rental Establishment

This particular type of spying was identified in a well-known PC renting establishment. This is a type of service where you go into the shop, pay a fixed amount for using a PC for a fixed interval of time and then log off. You can use the PC for anything from internet banking to checking email or Facebook. But the problem was that these PCs had a type of malicious software implanted in them that could spy on the activity of the users. The software gathered information and relayed it to the person who planted it via the internet.

The Flaw is in An Application Called PC Rental Manager

If you are not aware of the application PC Rental Manager, it is a tool that allows administrators to control the duration of PC usage. As you can understand, this feature comes in handy when you are renting out computers to anonymous users for money. You can also use this software to control the type of sites that the users visit, ensuring that the rented PC is not used for performing any illicit activity. The add-on here is the ability to snoop on the users and gather information.

The Level of Detail with Which the Information Was Gathered Was Astonishing

One of the most amazing and dangerous aspects of this software was the level of detail with which information could be gathered by a miscreant. The software has a mode called as ‘Detective Mode’ that has to be activated by the person who is controlling the spying activities. There are three levels with which a user can be spied on and the level of snooping is also determined by the controller.

  • Level 1: In the first level of spying, the detective mode managed to capture a screenshot and also the first 30 keystrokes of the user. This information was then relayed to the controller using the internet. To do this, Designer Ware Servers were employed and the information was relayed via e-mail.
  • Level 2: The second level of snooping is obviously more detailed. A screenshot was taken and recorded at a two minute interval. Also, keystrokes of the user were recorded every two minutes. The controller had to issue a command for the application to stop recording this data.
  • Level 3: Level 3 is almost similar to level 2, except that the application used the in-built camera on the PC to capture a photograph. Also, fake software registering screens were used to gather personal information.

How Did The Scam Come To Light?

The first giveaway was the fact that PC camera light was turning on without the users instructing the PC to do so. Also, some users who are familiar with registration scams identified the pattern and pointed it out to the administrators. The sent emails were also discovered consequently.

All this suggests that it is better to use your own PC or a friend’s rather than renting one. The damages that this type of hacking can cause can be catastrophic and it is better to stay away from PC renting altogether.

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