Identity thieves can lurk in the unlikeliest of places, including your local library.
Police in a posh suburb of Manchester, England, have issued a cybercrime alert after they found keystroke loggers plugged into computers at two libraries, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Keystroke loggers look similar to USB drives, and capture all keyboard activity while they are plugged into a keyboard port (often located in the back of the computer).
A typical logger looks inconspicuous – if it’s noticed at all. But when the owner returns for it, the stored information – which could include e-mail passwords and bank account information – is theirs for the taking.
Two loggers were seized by library staff, while a third was missing, the newspaper report said.
Investigators have ordered staff at these two particular libraries to conduct frequent checks to make sure no keystroke loggers are on any computers.
Graham Cluley of the security firm Sophos believes that such attacks will continue, given how cheap and easily they can be carried out.
“With human nature being what it is, and the cheap price and easy availability of hardware keyloggers … it’s unlikely that we’ve heard the last of similar identity thefts on public computers,” Cluley wrote.