Bad times for HP when a certain researcher (Michael Myng) stumbles upon the fact that nearly 500 of their laptop models contain a deactivated keylogger within the keyboard driver, that could give an attacker the ability to monitor everything you do (or at least type).
It is the Synaptics Touchpad driver that was the culprit that has the code buried inside. Something Mr. Myng discovered while researching a solution to control the keyboard’s backlight. Although the keylogger comes disabled by default, it can easily be enabled by a simple Windows registry value. He detailed everything on his blog here, where it breaks down how he ran into the code and the steps he took once he discovered it.
The attacker would have to have administrative access to your HP laptop to pull it off, so that they can access Windows Registry properly and change the value. Once the value is changed, it would activate the keylogger and it would send the information to a certain destination (not given).
Mr. Myng was able to get into contact with HP about it and they quickly rushed a solution/fix that will patch this vulnerability so that you wouldn’t have anything to worry about. They pointed out to Myng that it was part of a debug trace (the fix removes this trace).
For a complete list of models affected and their compatible fix that you can download, you can visit HP’s website here (document #: c05827409).
This isn’t the first oops that HP has had to deal with this year. As early as January, they had recalled over 100,000 batteries due to risk of fire, covering a range of models between 2013 and 2016. Thankfully HP is quick at responding with a solution when it comes to these things.