Hewlett Packard (HP) Pavilion
One-touch Multimedia Keyboard MMKEYBD.EXE
It would seem that keyboards are good places to attack privacy and security.
Hewlett Packard Pavilion computers come pre-installed with "phone-home" spyware made by Netropa. This nasty phone-home software is named the "One touch multimedia keyboard". This spy ware is located in a computer file executable named mmkeybd.exe which drives the HP Pavilion pre-installed internet enabled keyboard.
The internet enabled keyboard is actually pretty cool because with one-touch of a keyboard button you can access the internet, your favorites and other stuff.
Only thing is that the keyboard is spyware! Not unlike a lot of other trojan horse programs, it gives you something cool and then piggybacks its dangerous payload. All without your knowledge. So this program operates in the background of your HP Pavilion, hijacking the internet connection without the user's knowledge.
The "One touch multimedia keyboard" generates TCP, UDP and ICMP pings about once every second.
Of course not only does this invade an HP customer's privacy by phoning home every few seconds, it greatly slows down internet connections with unnecessary bandwidth. HP should be taken to task for not disclosing these privacy violations. I am surprised the news media has not jumped on Hewlett Packard for this. This seems to pale in comparision to the Real Networks privacy violations of late.
Attempts to uninstall the program only make life more difficult and inconvenient. You have to remember that the MMKEYBD.exe program drives the keyboard. Which means that the keyboard becomes useless without the driver. Ever tried to use a computer without a keyboard? Remove the driver and you are left with a keyboard-less computer.
Also the speaker controls for the HP Pavilion are located on the keyboard. Want sound? If you are smart enough to know what is going on with the MMKEYBD trojan program and you uninstall the spyware you can forget being able to adjust the sound while you listening to your CDs or playing your favorite video game!
HP and Netropa are crafty and bundle essential operations with the trojan.
The only way to avoid the privacy invasions is to use firewall software. But watch out! It is not that easy either. My Norton Personal Firewall caught the TCP and UDP packets, but did not catch the rogue ICMP packets.
So after I thought I was protected (I blocked MMKEYBD.exe from TCP and UDP access), I was not really. Checking my logs (a long time later), I noticed many, many hits to redirect.paviliondownload.com
So I had to also block ICMP packets. Things are ok now, but I have wasted a lot of time doing extensive research to compile this information and I am ticked. I have not yet sniffed the packets to determine what information was sent. So I do not yet know what they know about me.
HP and Netropa should be taken to task for invading my and thousands of other's privacy.
If anyone has information about this HP Pavilion and the Netropa spyware "one-touch multimedia keyboard", please reply to this posting on the usenet newsgroup alt.privacy.spyware.
I have also published this here: http://www.gank.com/spyware/index.htm
If you are not associated with Hewlett Packard or Netropa, then you are free to download this page and post the page on your website. Just keep the above link which provides a link back this site.
Needless to say. We will NOT be buying another HP computer!
And we will not buy the Netropa One-Touch Multimedia Keyboard.