You connect a keyboard to your computer and it starts acting up. Keystrokes are sluggish, some inputs don’t register, it randomly types characters, etc.
The question is — can you get a virus from a keyboard?
In this article, we’ll explore how keyboards get infected and explain how to protect your devices. Let’s roll!
Can you get a virus from a keyboard?
Yes, you can get a virus from a keyboard, but it’s pretty rare. It may happen if it has upgradeable firmware that you can flash to your device. You could potentially transfer a virus via the USB connection, but the chances for this are really low.
Additionally, most consumer keyboards don’t have upgradeable firmware, only custom ones do.
What virus can affect a keyboard?
Here are some of the most common types of malware that can affect your device:
A keylogger is malicious software that tracks your every keystroke. It records and transfers this data to a third party without your knowledge.
Some information it collects includes passwords, bank details, apps you frequently use, etc. Moreover, it can also monitor your web activities.
At present, there are 300+ different families of keyloggers. They affect over 10 million users in the United States.
Rootkits are designed to allow privileged access to a target device. They’re usually a collection of tools that grant hackers administrator-level control. They operate low-key and are very hard to detect.
The good news?
Regular OS updates and a robust antivirus will keep your PC safe from harm.
This type of malicious software targets your device’s firmware. It can corrupt high-privilege layers and grants attackers control over hardware responses, installed apps, and system memory.
And to make matters worse, once it gets ahold of your machine, it’s difficult to get rid of. A complete firmware update and hardware upgrade are the only permanent solution.
How to stay safe?
Here are some of our security recommendations to keep you safe from keyboard viruses:
- Obtain firmware updates only from official sources: Check out your keyboard or PCB manufacturer’s website.
- Careful with USB flash drives: USB drives may carry malware instead of firmware updates.
- Regularly scan your PC: Antivirus scans will notify you if there’s anything out of the ordinary.
If you suspect there’s a virus that affects your keyboard, you should install the latest clean version of your device’s firmware. In most cases, that should do the trick!
So, can you get a virus from a keyboard? Although possible, it’s a rare occurrence. There are other, easier ways for cybercriminals to target you.
Still, this doesn’t give you a reason to slack on your security. Keyloggers, rootkits, and firmware malware are active threats.
Luckily, now you know how to tackle this problem head-on. Stay safe!