HP unfortunately has form for releasing computers with various security issues built in, and now it has had to release a patch that will be of a great deal of interest to users of its laptops.
It was identified that hundreds of the computer maker’s laptops shipped with keylogging software pre-installed, and while it would appear that there was no malicious intent here, that fact will no doubt be of little consolation for those running the software on their computers.
The patch released now fixes the security issue for HP laptop computers, some of which were released as far back as 2012, and is a free download. The keylogger was originally spotted by security researcher going by the name ZwClose who found it squirreled away in the Synaptics Touchpad keyboard driver found on the affected laptops. HP has confirmed that this was part of a debugging system that was turned off by default, but that doesn’t really matter, does it? HP was quick to rectify the issue once notified, thankfully enough.
A potential security vulnerability has been identified with certain versions of Synaptics touchpad drivers that impacts all Synaptics OEM partners. A party would need administrative privileges in order to take advantage of the vulnerability. Neither Synaptics nor HP has access to customer data as a result of this issue.
The impacted laptops include the EliteBook, ProBook, Envy, Spectre, and many more. HP has enlisted the help of Microsoft in rolling out the patch, with confirmation received via ZwClose that the patch will also be delivered via Windows Update on those machines that need it. However, for those wishing to not waste a moment and get their patch on manually, simply head over to the HP webpage here to get started.
If all this sounds eerily familiar, it is because a similar issue cropped up earlier in the year when it was found that a similar keylogger was embedded in a Conexant audio driver on some HP laptops.
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