Wiretap Pro

Wiretap Pro: Are You Being Monitored?

Keyloggers are tools, just like hammers.  While a hammer can be used to build, it can also be used to tear down.  Its capabilities depend on who is holding it.  Keyloggers can be used legitimately and legally or they can exploit computer users, depending on who is using it.

What is Wiretap Pro?

Keyloggers are software programs that record each keystroke made on a certain computer.  Most can recover data including usernames, passwords, credit card and bank account numbers, emails, lists of websites visited, and at least one side of chats and IMs.  Wiretap Pro’s latest version employs state-of-the-art “packet sniffing techniques” to “capture all Internet activity.”  In addition to the capabilities listed above, this keylogger can record all documents, pictures, and folders viewed, as well as take and log screenshots.  This information is compiled into reports and sent via email or FTP (file transfer protocol), so the monitor can review data from virtually anywhere in the world.

This keylogger has a password-protected control panel and optional “Maximum Stealth” setting.  When this option is selected, the program does not appear in the Add/Remove list, System Tray, Windows Processes list, or Task Manager.  The objective is to run undetected; this is a major selling point for parents and employers, but it also makes it very difficult to determine if your computer is affected by a keylogger.

What Risks Does Wiretap Pro Pose to My Computer and Me?

Keyloggers are marketed to parents or employers who want to monitor their computers’ usage.  Parents, for instance, may need to know which websites their children visit or with whom they are chatting in order to keep them safe.  Employers may need to know if their employees are using the internet inappropriately during work hours or misusing company data.  These are both legitimate uses for keyloggers, but programs like Wiretap Pro can just as easily be misused. How?

It is not uncommon for suspicious spouses, girl/boyfriends, friends, or family members to install keyloggers in order to monitor computer usage or search for specific information.  This is an invasion of privacy, and virtually everything you do on your computer is recorded and can be reviewed by someone else.

Another danger, however, is that sensitive data can be discovered and misused.  Keyloggers can record usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and more; if someone is able to access this information, they can use it fraudulently.

How Did Wiretap Pro Become Installed?

There are keyloggers that are installed in the same manner as spyware; they are ushered in with a Trojan and installed without the users’ consent.  They can also be “second wave” spyware, which means they find a security hole left by another spyware application that has already accessed the system.  Wiretap Pro, and other legitimate programs, however, must be installed manually.  The person who wishes to monitor activity needs direct access to the computer to load the program.  After this is done, the keylogger will launch upon startup and begin gathering data.  From there, reports can be accessed and viewed from remote locations.

How Do I Detect Wiretap Pro?

Most keyloggers have a “stealth” mode that allows them to run invisibly.  This is an important feature.  Parents, for instance, may need to monitor their children’s activities without their knowledge to detect threats or inappropriate activity.  This selling point, however, is easily used by attackers to exploit users.  Wiretap Pro is difficult to detect when it is in “Maximum Stealth” mode.  If it is not, you may see an icon in your system tray; when you click on this, it will open the program’s Control Panel.

Other than this, you will notice little or nothing amiss with your computer.  Performance may be a little slower, but most keyloggers have a very small footprint and do not interfere with the speed of your system.

Can I Remove Wiretap Pro?

Stealth settings make it difficult to detect keyloggers, and it makes them equally challenging to remove effectively.  Here is a look at what will not work:

Running your antivirus program.  Wiretap Pro is considered to be legitimate; as such, it is not picked up as a threat by most security suites.  Further, these programs can alter security settings in order to disguise themselves, making them invisible.

Uninstalling.  The program does not appear on program lists.  Even if you do see an unfamiliar icon that leads to a control panel, you will not be able to find the keylogger in the Add/Remove list.

What will work? 

Manual Removal.  While this method can be effective, it is also risky.  It is very difficult to find files or registry keys that are associated with the keylogger.  If you fail to removal all of the relevant entries, the program may be able to rebuild itself.  You also risk damaging your system registry and impairing performance.  If you have technical experience, manual removal directions appear below.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require assistance.

Automatic Removal.  Using a specially designed program like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (Malwarebytes has free malware removal) is recommended.  This program is able to root out stealth registry entries in order to completely remove Wiretap Pro from your system.  It will not be able to recreate itself, nor will any of your legitimate applications be harmed.  This is the quickest, safest option when you are confronted with a keylogger.

Keyloggers are often indispensable tools for parents, law enforcement officials, or employers.  They can also be used to exploit computer users and their data.  If you suspect that a keylogger has been installed, take steps immediately to remove it and restore your privacy.

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