For many years we’ve been developing [probably] the best personal monitoring apps, known as keyloggers. It has always been our top priority to keep our apps clean from malicious code and features to guarantee the best experience for PC owners around the world. We have been advertising password capturing as one of our major features throughout all those years, but it must be time to have a discussion (more of a monologue) about the industry changes that inevitably affect the course of the contemporary security software development.
To tell the truth, we’ve never considered password tracking to be that important in all our products. Some users wanted to have those capabilities, others always disabled that type of logging. Our position was, it’s a nice bonus feature on top of a keylogger’s main functionality. Starting with macOS 10.12 Sierra, unfortunately, this bonus feature has become impossible to implement completely and even support at a decent functional level.
Even before that, Apple started to restrict third-party access to its own apps in macOS 10.10 when library validation policies had been introduced. The policy was simple:
A program may link against any library with the same team identifier in its code signature as the main executable, or with any Apple system library. Requests to link against other libraries are denied. That said, our own library could no longer be loaded in Safari even with System Integrity Protection (SIP) totally disabled. Library Validation exists independently of SIP and cannot be disabled without a kernel patch. Scary words…
Our team is developing system-level security utilities for more than 14 years, and we are capable of developing [almost] any patch we may need. However, in case of commercial solutions, this would mean intentional weakening of your Mac’s protection. This would automatically expand the possibilities for malware and other unauthorized software access. We simply cannot willingly accept that level of responsibility and/or damage even theoretically.
macOS 10.14 Mojave introduced even a more stringent security, and now it’s not only impossible to record passwords from Apple’s programs, but also capture any other app’s activity without macOS alerting users. As a result, password tracking is clearly interfering with the core monitoring features, and, technically speaking, completely invalidates the entire foundation for invisible monitoring.
To sum it up, today, in 2018, password capturing is no longer relevant. And there are multiple reasons for that:
- First of all, password tracking is beyond personal monitoring as it stands, it’s on the verge of hacking and stealing data from others. And that is something Elite Keylogger has never announced, endorsed, or supported. Recording someone’s email password, for example, opens up substantially more than just recording local PC activity on a computer that belongs to its administrator and the one who installs a monitoring app. Using one’s email password illegally may provide access to the data that was never supposed to be monitored in the first place, like online banking receipts, crypto trading confirmations, plenty of other stuff. It’s dangerous for any diligent computer administrator to even _be in possession_ of keys to any of those accounts.
- Secondly, if you are considering to use password capturing software, you can’t but take into consideration all sorts of automatic access blocking systems implemented on various online services these days. You can easily brick someone’s account by trying to access it pretending you are the authorized user and easily reveal yourself.
- Don’t forget all the server-side logging mechanisms in place, if you decide to ever use the captured password to access someone’s online accounts. Everything, starting with your IP address, is recorded and timestamped.
- Finally, 2-factor authentication is a big leap forward in online security, which efficiently invalidates passwords as a sole means of access control in the modern world.
- The list can go on and on.
Hopefully, these arguments are more than enough to sustain our position on limited development and support of password tracking in our products going forward. Stripping secondary features like this from our product line is a logical and technically justified step that lets our developers concentrate even more on improving features like keystroke monitoring, screenshots, instant messengers tracking, web-activity recording, etc. and keeping those features invisible without the unnecessary complications of the user setup.
We thank you for understanding, and, as always, happy monitoring!
Yours, WideStep Team