A federal judge recently ruled that it is illegal for the government to bug people’s phones in the cause of Homeland Security. But what about all that email you send? LiveScience.com reports that your keyboard can easily be bugged so that someone can “read” your passwords and other sensitive data.

Computer expert Matthew Blaze says that this bugging device, which is far more powerful than a common Trojan orrootkit, is almost impossible to detect because it works by adding nearly imperceptible processing delays after a keystroke. According to LiveScience.com, these bugs have not actually been put into use yet, but since Livescience is a spin off of the NASA web site space.com, this may not be entirely accurate.

Gaurav Shah, who created a version of this super rootkit says, “This is spy stuff. Someone would need physical access to your keyboard to place a?device, but it could be quite easy to hide such a bug in plain sight among cables or even replace a keyboard with a bugged version. Although we do not have evidence that anyone has actually been using [them], our message is that if we were able to build one, so could other, less scrupulous people.”

A more common bugging device is often buried on websites oremailed inspam. “Phishing” programs access data from people who use the internet, every time we go a web site that has this program installed on it. Unless you have a spam filter that warns you that your entry has been recorded in a data base, you will be completely unaware of it. It’s importantto ‘sweep’ your computer frequently with programs likeSpyware Doctor and Spysweep in order to remain free of thistype of bug–fairly free, that is. The spyware program thatfinds and deletes all spyware has not yet been invented,unfortunately.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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