IAmBigBrother: Is Big Brother Watching You?

We depend on our computers for work, communication, financial transactions, important information, and entertainment.  We also depend on them to be secure.  Keyloggers help parents and employers make their systems safer, but they can also be used to exploit users and their information.

Introduction to IAmBigBrother

Keyloggers often have a negative reputation: after all, why would anyone need a program that tracks every keystroke, emails, chats, IMs, and websites visited?  Isn’t this an invasion of privacy?  It can be, but it can also be a tremendously useful tool.  Parents, for instance, often install monitoring software to ensure their children are safe and using the internet appropriately.  It is very common for predators to target children online, and their caregivers understandably want to keep them from harm.  Seen through this lens, keyloggers like IAmBigBrother have a host of benefits, including:

·         Tracking and recording emails, instant messages, and chats.

·         Logging websites visited, including chat rooms.

·         Recording screen names, passwords, and profiles.

·         Logging programs run.

·         Recording every keystroke.

·         Taking screenshots.

·         Operating in stealth mode so children do not detect and remove it.

·         Monitoring from remote locations.

It is easy to see, though, that these features can be used for malicious purposes. 

What Risk Does IAmBigBrother Pose?

IAmBigBrother and other keyloggers pose two main risks for users:

·         Loss of privacy.  We often assume that what we do on our personal computers is our own business.  We research, work, chat, email, and shop; it is a violation to realize that someone is looking over your shoulder, in essence, and watching your every step.  It suddenly makes your personal computer much less secure and much less useful.

·         Compromising of data.  Keyloggers can also be used to track and record credit card numbers, bank account numbers, usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information.  The monitor has access and can view anything from which websites you visit to your email to your purchase history. 

How Does IAmBigBrother Get Into My Computer?

Virtually every computer user has some form of security program to protect their computers and data.  These security suites are designed to protect against threats like viruses and Trojans that are spread online.  IAmBigBrother, however, is considered to be a legitimate program by the vast majority of security programs, and it is not installed in the same way viruses are.  In fact, rather than stealth installation, this keylogger must be installed manually.  That is, the person wishing to monitor a computer has to have direct access.  After the keylogger is up and running, the monitor can review data remotely and does not need to access the computer again. 

How Do I Tell It Is There?

Is your child tech-savvy?  Most are, and many are more knowledgeable about computers than their parents. If a keylogger program were listed in the Task Manager, System Tray, Add/Remove List, or other obvious places, they could find it, and they could remove it – or start using a friend’s computer!  This is one of the reasons why these programs are designed to run invisibly.  They do not show up in any of the usual places, and they do not display icons or messages.

You may notice that your computer is running a bit more slowly, but this is not a reliable sign of a keylogger.  IAmBigBrother is fairly light, so it does not have much of an impact on performance.  The inability to detect anything amiss is a major reason why keyloggers can be so problematic.

Removing IAmBigBrother

As mentioned, detection of keyloggers is extremely difficult, and for the same reasons, removal is also challenging. Most people’s first instinct is to try the Add/Remove option, but this is ineffective simply because the program will not be listed.  Users also tend to try a security scan, but IAmBigBrother is not classified as a virus.  It is, in fact, a legitimate program, so the majority of security programs will not detect it.

Automatic removal with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Malwarebytes has free malware removal) is the safest, quickest, and most effective option.  It would be virtually impossible, not to mention time-consuming, to manually remove each and every last file and key associated with this keylogger without damaging your system registry.  This program is specifically designed to eliminate keyloggers, ensuring your system is once again private and secure.  No one, not even big brother, should be monitoring your personal computer.

Manual removal is difficult and should only be attempted by those with experience in the system registry.  The time-consuming process can easily damage your computer if you fail to delete all associated files or if you accidently delete necessary ones. If you would like to attempt manual removal, follow these directions.

Kill processes:

cp.exe, cpanel.exe, dllhost.exe, nl.exe, ma.exe, spoolsv.exe

Delete registry values:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\Windows Service Manager
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\Windows System Tray

Delete files:
cp.exe, cpanel.exe, dllhost.exe, nl.exe, ma.exe, spoolsv.exe, asycfilt.dll, dartftp.dll, dartsock.dll, dmm.dll, encodex.dll, mimex.dll, winl.dll

Delete directories:

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