Information Technology officials at Western Kentucky University are asking computer users to be more cautious after a keylogging device was discovered on a student lab computer.

On Nov. 20, an Information Technology Services staff member discovered a keylogging device, designed to record users’ keystrokes for later retrieval, attached to one lab computer in the open computer lab in Jody Richards Hall, according to a news release from WKU. Installed between the keyboard and the computer, the device was hidden from view.

By examining the log captured on the device, university officials estimate installation occurred in early September. It appears the log has not been accessed since the device was connected, the release said.

“While we believe the information the keylogger contains has not been compromised, we have contacted the approximately 300 students whose information was logged and made them aware of the potential,” Greg Hackbarth, assistant vice president for Information Technology Services, said in the news release. University officials are also engaging a forensic investigation firm to learn more, and offering potentially impacted students identify theft protection services at no cost.

Hackbarth advises everyone take simple steps to assure their information remains secure, including changing all passwords on a regular basis and monitoring social media and financial accounts for signs of irregularities.

Additionally, users should visually inspect computers for unfamiliar hardware and contact an IT expert if they find anything suspect, he said.

At WKU, lab managers are increasing their visual inspections and researching devices that may prevent the installation of keylogging hardware, the release said.

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