Nairobi Internet Cafes: Not as safe as you thought
Despite having internet connection throughout the day, most internet cafes in Nairobi don’t have updated anti-viruses. In fact, most viruses that affect PCs within Nairobi can be traced back to cybercafés, this is because people prefer using these cafes to download insecure files from the internet through torrents and other malware infected sites. The infected files are then transmitted through Flash disks and other file storage devices to home or office PCs.
The sad part of it is that most of the cyber café users have very limited knowledge about the internet and especially cyber attacks. Sometimes even recognizing simple programs like key loggers is not easy.
A key logger is a hardware device or software that is installed or attached to a PC to record keystrokes of a user. They are widely used in stealing identities of thousands of people throughout the world. Innocently most people think that when they are typing their passwords on a log in window, their passwords are safe-wrong!- key loggers record every letter or number as it is and stores it in a hidden file that can only be viewed by the one who installed it.
Of all the different forms of identity thefts that take place in cybercafés, use of key loggers is probably the most difficult one to notice, since they can easily be added to the antivirus list of trusted programs and thereby no warnings will pop up to alert you if you are being monitored. The hardware versions can be easily connected to the keyboard port without the user noticing or the antivirus detecting it. In fact detecting the hardware versions without physically finding them is impossible. Unless for the really concerned individuals, most people don’t bother to bend and look for one or try to find out if the PC they are using has one installed in.
Most recent versions of key loggers are able to be controlled and installed remotely- this means a hacker can send a file containing a key logger with the ability to install in your pc with a single click and view what you are typing from the comfort of his desk regardless of where they are.
Since key loggers are legal in most countries and you cant accuse anyone of having one in his PC, it is always a good idea to take personal precaution. The best advice is to make sure you don’t transact any business that involves transfer of cash or even logging into any of your secure accounts at a public internet café.