A good use for a keylogger?

Normally when I discuss keyloggers on the Clu-blog it’s in relation to identity thieves stealing your usernames and passwords as you bank online.

But Lenovo appears to have found a positive use – as they’ve used keylogging software to help them redesign the tried-and-trusted keyboard.

Take a moment or two to check out the keyboard on Lenovo’s new ThinkPad T400s notebook. Do you notice anything unusual?

Lenovo Thinkpad T400s keyboard

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Well done to any eagle-eyed readers who noticed that the DEL key appears to have been pumped full of steroids. Apparently the ESC key is similarly enhanced.

Lenovo chose to make these changes to what has become a fairly standard cross-industry design to the computer keyboard after installing keystroke capturing software on to the PCs of 30 of its employees. According to media reports, the company discovered that workers were using the small Escape and Delete keys about 700 times each week.

Their conclusion? The size of both the DEL and ESC keys should be doubled. Rumour has it that they may also ditch the rarely-used Pause/Break and Caps Lock keys in the future.

By the way, I was pleased to see that the keyboard monitoring was done with the knowledge and permission of the computer users.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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