Saturday, March 26, 2005

Just when you thought it was safe to go on vacation

Here’s a cool new Dire Warning from New York Times tech writer and blogger David Pogue.

It seems that when travelling in Peru recently, he was logging onto the Net from various Internet cafes. Bad idea. He discovered (how, he didn’t say) that many of he computers he was using contained programmers that tracked every word he typed – every login ID, every password.

In his words: “I found that nearly a quarter of the machines had keylogging software installed (that I could detect, anyway). The proprietors always alleged to know nothing about this.”

So when using any Internet café, be wary about your email sign-ins, online banking, or even catching up on your eBay auctions. You never know who’s watching – and ready to empty your PayPal account.

If you want to see Pogue’s original blog (and he writes good stuff), visit the URL I have pasted into a comment, below. It is just too big to fit onto this page.


Rick Spence said...

Here's the URL for David Pogue's blog item, "When Snoopers Watch Your Fingers"

Anonymous said...

You don't have to travel to a third world country to find nasty key logging installed on a computer I'm a night Porter at a English 5 Star Hotel and When a guest asked it I could find a Microsoft Excel file he had lost somewhere on his rooms Computer not only did I find his missing file but a key logging file that had details of every site visited plus Username and Passwords not only for that room but all 39 rooms on that network going back to Sep 04 I reported this to our general manager last month and have not heard a word back since but I do know this programme was installed on our behalf.
Is this legal?

Rick Spence said...

Not legal in this country, old chap. And surely not in yours.

What a scary story.

Anonymous, if you’re reading this, e-mail me at, and I would be delighted to help you get this story out in the UK (anonymously, of course).