HP Laptops Discovered To Be Spying On Users With Keylogger

ZeroPointNow's picture

Swiss cybersecurity firm Modzero has discovered that 28 models of HP laptops running the "MicTray64.exe" audio driver on Windows 7 and 10 systems - a little over 20% of all laptops - have been spying on users via a 'keylogger,' a program which records every keystroke made on the device. This means that passwords for banking, email accounts, and private communications on affected laptops are being stored locally - which "leads to a high risk of leaking sensitive user input."

"Users are not aware that every keystroke made while entering sensitive information - such as passphrases (or) passwords on local or remote systems - are captured by (the software)" -Modzero

When Modzero contacted HP about the issue the company went radio silent, so the Swiss firm went public with it's findings. When UK based Sky News picked up the story and reached out to HP, the company said they were "aware of the keylogger issue on select HP PCs."

HP told Sky News: "Our supplier partner developed software to test audio functionality prior to product launch and it should not have been included in the final shipped version. Fixes will be available shortly via HP.com." -Sky News

A full list of affected laptops can be found here.

Here is Modzero's writeup on how the keylogger works:

Conexant's MicTray64.exe is installed  with the Conexant audio driver
package and registered as a Microsoft Scheduled Task to run after each
user login. The  program monitors all  keystrokes made by  the user to
capture  and  react  to  functions  such  as  microphone   mute/unmute
keys/hotkeys. Monitoring of keystrokes is added by implementing a low-
level keyboard input  hook [1] function...

In addition to the handling  of hotkey/function key strokes, all  key-
scancode information [2] is written into a logfile in a world-readable
path (C:\Users\Public\MicTray.log).


Content originally generated at iBankCoin.com * Follow on Twitter @ZeroPointNow

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quasi_verbatim's picture

Okay, no more buy fucking HP laptops.

Kefeer's picture

I had an HP laptop with lots of RAM and an i7 core and couldn't believe a Dell i3 with 4 gb of RAM was so much faster.  I returned the HP because it was so slow out of the box and no issues could be identified - now I know why.

One of We's picture

If you haven't read Thieves Emporium you should.

Infnordz's picture

It's interesting not just from the 'Black' economy and security aspects, but also the repeated references to recognisable state abuse, the parasitic fraud of debt 'money', and the necessity of physical action, including lethal action.

silverer's picture

"...and it should not have been included in the final shipped version...."

Hey HP, How about a 10 million dollar fine to remind you not to leave it in? Oh, wait. That would have to come from a government that serves the people. Never mind.

JailBanksters's picture

HP and Spyware have been linked since VISTA !!

This isn't new, maybe a different filename, but HP has been tracking their Users for donkeys years.

And some pre-installed HP software you CAN NOT remove, why do think that is.

The best thing you can do with a HP, is format it, and reinstall a Pirate version of Windows, at least it's clean.


lew1024's picture

Windows is the least secure and most buggy software among the major OSs. Using it is a crime against security of all of our systems.

By far the most secure, bug-free software is OpenBSD as a server, command-line interface.  Linux distributions almost all adopt OpenBSD's patches to core libraries.

There are no equivalently-reliable windowing systems.

Arrow4Truth's picture

Screw Windows. I overwrote with Ubuntu on one laptop and Linux Mint on another. Open source is the way to go. Got tired of guinea-pigging every new Microsoft product. They should work out all of the bugs prior to releasing the OS's to market... but they never do. In my own way, I've exploited Microsoft vulnerabilities. Feels good.

JailBanksters's picture

We are heading down the rabbit of some major Technology conspiracies here.

Why can you NOT by a PC that you want without Microshit on it ?

Why on PC's with Intels latest chipsets only RUN Windows 10 ?, intel are not writting software for any other system.

The latest Laps with EFI, USB3 and Intel have really NUC'd this one out of the Park, making it as difficult as possible to install anything but Win 10.




Fireman's picture

As if it weren't bad enough with Pakistani "intelligence operatives" on Anthony Wiener's "trusted staff" hacking and synching a plethora of Washington Blackberrys for the Clinton Crime Cabal now we have H Pack Gate to thicken the plot. At this point is anything in USSA not rotten?


George Webb on the trail of subterfuge, treason and criminal collusion from the FBI.



"A global technology, computing and IT services provider. The company owns EDS Israel, which merged into HP and since 2009 it is called: "HP Enterprise Services".

HP itself states: "Israel is one of the few countries where HP has a massive presence, including the following entities: HP Israel; The Indigo Division – Digital Printing Solutions; HP Industrial Printing (formerly Scitex Vision); HP Software (formerly Mercury) and HP Labs. HP is the second largest investor in Israeli IT". The company also states that "From 2001-2011, HP invested over $6 billion in the acquisition of Israeli companies, including the establishment of production plants". 

Since 2011 HP has been supplying the computer systems of the ministry of defense. The tender was worth an estimated NIS 500 million. Under the Ministry of Defense tender, the company was contracted to manage the ministry and IDF's server farms for five years. "

The Basel system

"EDS has provided the Israeli ministry of defense with the development, installation, maintenance and on-going field support of the Basel System. The Basel System is an automated biometric access control system which includes a permit system for Palestinian workers, with hand and facial recognition, installed in checkpoints in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza. The system was financed by the US government following the Wye River Memorandum. "


From NAZI Germany to NAZI Israel...no big deal for Corpo Fascist USSA!






Sam Spayed's picture

Where are the key log files stored on the computer???  It would be nice to know.

ZeroPointNow's picture



FIAT CON's picture

If I remember correctly HP laid off 48,000 workers in the last couple of years. We can only hope they lay off the rest of the workers... Ie. Bankruptcy!

VWAndy's picture

 Basic logic says if its got the ability to comunicate its prolly spying.

  Its not the tool but how its used that matters.

thecondor's picture

Any computer with windows 10 has a keylogger built in.  Windows 10 is a very invasive OS and I hate it.  I am an IT guy and I tell you to run away if you can.  Linux is the best for privacy.

SixIsNinE's picture

i've gone to linux on a couple machines  - but still win7 for business reasons, would like to stay 7  - but, having said that, some say the invasive aspects, i.e. keylogger, can be disabled - but how could you trust it?  it could just simply say it's off but it's not, it's still keylogging with a scrubber - surely a known, repeated deceiver shouldn't be assumed innocent of another whopper of a lie.  thus, one might adopt a semi-fatalist outlook as to privacy concerns and hope that since i would not be doing anything shameful, there are things you just don't have time to go alternate routes - however, in light of the travelling new rules on computer carryons would be a good motivator to look at sticks to carry the system without a computer.  

with win7 the "important" security updates could easily have been a logger in disguise somewhere - who reads all the descriptions of the updates?   consequently,  who would recommend going to 10 then?

seriously,  any input as to win10?  is it as terrible as some say?   i've saved several links with win10 instructions to remove the spyware and yuckware - or should i just stick win 7 ?


i do like linux 17.3 mint - i'm using an old hp 2530 with the L9400 cpu - and what used to be a bad browsing experience on win7 firefox, is now a totally awesome browing machine using mint.

it's like night & day.  win/firefox would bog down with just a few a single window with 4 or 5 tabs and more.   on Mint it's hard to have open more than it can handle.   it's firefox, but for some reason it works SO much better.   The L9400 was released Q3 2008.    these are great computers and can be found on ebay for circa $50.     amazing the deals you can find on ebay.

rygar's picture

Mint 18.1 is already here and it is much better.

But Mint - while great as starting point for newcomers - is not really safe. Many people are complaining about their practices. Safest bet in regular Linux world is good old Linux Slackware - stability and security oriented distribution. For paranoids: there is Quebes OS - currently far the most secure Linux flavor out there (better than Tails!), but it is slover than normal system (runs many virtual machines at once)


So, if you need very strong security - Quebes

If you need something for normal work - Slackware

Little lower there is also very good Opensuse Linux. Harder to install than Mint, but much safer.

Arrow4Truth's picture

We've tried most of the brands of computers using both Intel and AMC processors, but all with Windows OS's. Microsoft has always released their "new" operating systems prior to working out all of the bugs, which is the equivalent of their customers being test subjects. I've used most of their crap since Windows 3.1 but have never been satisfied, so opted to overwrite Microsoft with Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Started playing with Ubuntu over 10 years ago and though it's not as user friendly, is pretty stable. Linux Mint sports a GUI spread that is more like Windows and is equally as stable.

Mrs. Arrow bought a new ASUS with Windows 10 and it's about as buggy as any I've seen, as well as being a memory glutton. It gets bogged-down sometimes using Firefox, but most of the time when using IE. The problem is not the processors, but the OS. What I'm using at present is an old HP 32 bit, 75 GB, laptop with 2 GiB of RAM... running Linux Mint on an Intel Centrino Duo 1.80 Ghz X 2 processor. Even watch movies on it. Couldn't do that with Windows. One of the rare times I will ever use the term, but I will "never" go back to Microsoft. Cheers.

I Write Code's picture

It's a Whitman Sampler.

Dr_Snooz's picture

This is why the first thing I do with any new computer is to wipe it clean and install Linux.

squid's picture

Just to be sure....

dd if=0x00 of=/dev/sda


Assuming your main HDD is sda.


That will write "0x00" to every location on the drive.

Zeroing it. It doesn't just remove a file allocation tables or inode lists, it writes zeros to the whole thing.


If you're in the mood to waist the NSA's time, and who isn't, then do this;

dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sda


They'll wast hours trying to crack/decode random data....00 is pretty clear that the disk was wiped, random data....:)


This still is not full proof.


If you really want to be sure, do 0x00, random,0x00 then random again.


Now reformat.


A single pass at zeroing can usually be recovered by someone that knows what they're doing. If you've written random and zeros a few times...yah, you're pretty safe.



One of these is not like the others..'s picture

erroneously placed comment...

cherry picker's picture

Wait till Cortana goes live and starts telling everyone of your contacts all your secrets.

I always thought that techno assistant would be a real bitch. :)

Duc888's picture



Windows, it's a bug, not a feature.

VWAndy's picture

 Overlapping redundant just looking for a way to transmit it.

VWAndy's picture

 My guess is everything has back doors built right in.  If it says smart on it for sure. All cop radios too.

daveO's picture

Recently, I found that I had a Google phone eavesdropping problem so I started using VPN's. I have since noticed that two of these, Betternet and ZenMate are highly suspect. Using an IP finder, they usually show up as in northern Virginia. As if that's not bad enough, sometimes I try to shop some stores' websites and get a page that says something like "Not available in your country" so I'll go to an IP finder and it will say Manassas or somewhere in northern Virginia.
When Erin Moran died last month, I did a Google search on her and ended up on Google SA(Saudi Arabia), written in Arabic. The IP finder said London. No more Google.

wwxx's picture

"HP told Sky News: "Our supplier partner developed software to test audio functionality prior to product launch and it should not have been included in the final shipped version. Fixes will be available shortly via HP.com." -Sky News"


Well geewhiz I wonder why HP would respond with the usual: DUH


Which by the way, your antivirus should of picked up on that kind of thing, but...yanno how it is, gotta sell some more corrupted PCs, next year.



Semi-employed White Guy's picture

Was this that skank Carly Fiorina's great idea?  Along with fucking over and outsourcing HP's US workers and destroying the company for her own personal gain.

squid's picture

That bimbo is an idiot.

If she had a penis she would have been sacked by the board WAY before she destroyed hP.



PrivetHedge's picture

I think HP are the ones that do the RFID tags for Palestinians.

BDS means I can't buy HP.

roddy6667's picture

I have 2 HP laptops. When I buy a computer, the first thing I do is to wipe the HDD and install Linux. No problems here. The machines run fast without the crap that comes installed on a new computer these days.

Automatic Choke's picture

Right !!!     The micro-linux installs (like Lubuntu) are quite usable on even the uber-cheapo $100 netbooks.   When I just want email and browser while travelling, those things are a fraction of the size and weight of a real laptop, and function just fine.    With micro-linux running, the performance is tens of times better than it was under the windows that came installed.


theprofromdover's picture

HP printers were even spying on you, years ago.

Everything spies on you, the new Apps even tell you they are doing it.

Linked In is the worst, and then Skype. Stopped using both of them a few years now, and they're still smooping.


silverer's picture

I hadn't upgraded Skype in quite a while, so I got a notice it would no longer work without installing the latest version. For those of you who may not know, Microsoft bought Skype sometime back. It runs on PC's and Macs and Xbox and Android and iPhone and more, and allows you to make computer to computer contacts for free, and they charge to make overseas phone calls using a pre-paid account. Well, Microsoft decided it was a useful tool to mine the shit out of people. If you ever installed it, you might as well drop your pants in Macy's window. Go back and read the user agreement completely. I guarantee you will uninstall it promptly after you are finished.

Umh's picture

Try uninstalling any of Googles products. They just blatantly leave processes installed and starting up.

silverer's picture

Yes. I've noticed that. I picked up an android phone recently, and have not activated most of the software. Only sync mail. Nothing else. I figured if I did, I'd be sorry. You just made me feel vindicated.

SimmerDown's picture

I switched to a Mac in 2015. It's not invulnerable but it is (along with iOS) far less likely to make the healdines for something like this.

Juggernaut x2's picture

AAPL stuff is the worst- NSA backdoors in all of their products 

ToSoft4Truth's picture

Bitcoin is safe.  HP didn't get that password.... 

OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

LOL 43% of BTC exchanges have been hacked, the biggest one has frozen funds. Tulips, nobody uses it to pay for anything and $ > BTC > foreign currency you can drive a truck through the spreads

But hey it is a ledger so sure, it can keep going up. Good luck

indio007's picture

BTC will not be truly viable till you can by daily household commodities with it.

We aren't there yet.

Master Toms Dog's picture

Hence one of the big reasons for a hardware wallet (like Trezor for example).

Victory_Garden's picture

OK, there is a problem.

So, how about some of our tech savvy crew here posting some answers?

Start an open source posting thread now to assist any and all crew in getting help.

Is this is a more than HP laptop issue?

Or in other words, does this same key logger go on any other laptops from different companies?

And, if it is on windows, should one consider that it is on ALL WINDOWS OS SYSTEMS?


Check in please with your light.:



OverTheHedge's picture

Bin Windows, and start again.


It will take you a week to work out the wrinkles, and you will never miss Microsoft.

silverer's picture

Open source software. It's the only possible safe route. You can write your own damn software if you have to.