Surveillance Software: record chat logs and more?, Part 2

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Kevin C. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I just read your article on Guardian Monitor 8.0. I checked the Washington Post article that you included in your review and read the comparison of Guardian Monitor versus the other surveillance programs ... but none mentioned the possibility that an outsider (hacker) could access your PC and obtain the data captured by the surveillance software -- and possibly obtaining passwords, account numbers, etc. Should this be a concern? "

My response:

Excellent question.

As I previously discussed, Guardian Monitor records key strokes through the web browser, chats, and emails (among many other things). I wasn't sure what (if any) steps were taken to protect this data, so I forwarded Kevin's question to John Joyce at Guardian Monitor. The official response is:

" The information recorded and stored in the Guardian Monitor database is password protected. However, in a case where a hacker has gained access to the computer, there are greater risks involved with data that is not password protected [such as personal documents]. "

Indeed, a hacker could obtain the Guardian Monitor database, but he would have to decrypt the data which may involve time and effort depending on the skill level of the hacker. From a hacker's standpoint, it may not be worth looking at the Guardian Monitor data when, as John Joyce points out, there is other information that is easier to access.

Side note: Attempting to decrypt data that is encrypted / password protected is also referred to as "cracking". On a similar note, it is worth mentioning that I have a PC Security eBook available which explains how to protect a Windows XP PC from hackers and Operating System Exploits. The article is available here:

Dennis' PC and Internet Security Guide

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