Rootkits or Keyloggers can Hide on a Graphics Card and Gain Access to your Computer

June 2, 2015 | By K. Joseph Breheny

Keylogger

What is a Graphics Card

Any videos, images or pictures that you see on your computer screen are managed by certain graphic components. Such graphic components are aligned in a different card, which is plugged into a specific provision on the motherboard. Hence graphic components are otherwise termed as graphics card. In some cases the motherboard is built up directly with the graphic card on it.

Graphic Cards – a source for hackers

Hackers and Malware authors have found a way to attack Windows computers by exploiting the Graphics card. This has been a new form of threat, as most of the antivirus software only perform a scan to check for the presence of malware only in the memory locations and hard drives. They primarily do not scan the Graphics Card’s Processor Unit (GPU). Knowing this, the hackers are finding such ways of attacking the computers, keeping the Graphic Card as the primary source of exploit.

Attacking the computers through CPU has been considered as one of the traditional means of hacking. Stepping one step in advance, hackers and malicious frauds have built on their hacking attention towards the Graphic Cards. Graphic Card Processing Unit has been developed to conduct complex operations. A user can totally rely on Graphic card for Bitcoin mining or to crack a password. With so much reliability on GPU, hackers try to exploit the complex encryption algorithms through such Graphic cards.

Demon Keylogger – The GPU Based Malware

Some developers have unveiled the proof of concept code of the GPU based Malware – the Demon keylogger, revealing the demonstration of how the GPU-based malware captures the keystrokes and saves them in the GPU memory. These keystroke can be followed by the keylogger malware to steal passwords, login credentials, financial information and personal communications without being detected by the keylogger detector software or any antivirus program.

Jellyfish – An Educational Based Rootkit

A rootkit by the name Jellyfish was released by the developers for educational purposes. The jellyfish rootkit goes undetectable by any of the antivirus programs. Jellyfish rootkit has the tendency to run on CPU host memory through DMA (Direct Memory Access). This innovative feature does not require to go through the CPU to permit the hardware components to read the main system memory, hence making such operations much difficult to detect by any of the traditional antivirus programs. To add to it the vulnerable GPU memory even after shutting down the system.

The security experts have found that the Jellyfish rootkit that was generated only for educational purposes, have all the chances of the Rootkit code to get exploited for illegal purposes.

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