Spying (Monitoring) Software

sglee
sglee used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi,
 
Years ago, I used to use Eblaster (by Spectorsoft ) - monitoring (spying) software you put on a windows PC. It records chats, texts, email  conversations and more. Those conversations are sent to your email. The software is simple to install and runs invisibly on the computer.
Additionally keystroke and browser activity are sent to your email as activity logs and you can set the interval of how often they are sent.

  Now I discovered that company does not make the software anymore.

Is there a good spying software that I can install that would not be detected by Webroot and Malwarebytes Endpoint protection?

Thanks.
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
IT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Hi sglee,

I've installed and used Spectorsoft at the request of a couple of my clients myself. It is now owned by "Veriato" and you'll find it's still available at the following link:

https://www.veriato.com/solutions/use-cases/employee-monitoring

Another solution you may find useful is available here:

https://veridium.net/homeguard-activity-monitor/

All spying software of this type will be detected by Webroot and Malwarebytes by default, however, you can configure both Webroot and Malwarebytes to whitelist the software so that it will be ignored and not flag a detection to the user(s) being monitored.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew

Author

Commented:
@Andrew
HomeGuard Activity Monitor is much cheaper than Veriato Investigator.
If you have used them both, how would you compare with respect to collecting information about:
users activity
keystrokes
web history monitoring (what website they visited, how long they stayed, what time they visited).
Obviously, I would prefer to pay $50 than $250.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Hi sglee,

I'm afraid I've only "installed" HomeGuard for a client of mine (was a home user client) and I did that installation remotely for her. She wanted it to monitor her kids and once it was set up, I left her to administrate it herself as she was fairly cost conscious with regards to my fees.

I've not actually "used" HomeGuard it as I did with Veriato Investigator, where I am the IT administrator for the companies network and they wanted me to both install and monitor one of their employees for several days.

That said though, my home client did send me an email a couple of weeks later and thanked me for helping her out. When I chatted with her over the phone, she seemed very happy with the software and had nothing negative to say about it.

I'm sorry, but that's about the best I can offer with regards to my experience with the product. I honestly can't compare the two from a personal usage viewpoint. I'd suggest downloading it and taking a look at it yourself - not sure if they still have a trial available, but I'd expect they would?  I installed it for my client about a year or so ago from memory.

Hope that's helpful.

Regards, Andrew
C++ 11 Fundamentals

This course will introduce you to C++ 11 and teach you about syntax fundamentals.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for sharing that information. I will see if they have a trial version.

Author

Commented:
I tried HomeGuard, but I could not make it work with trial version. Veriato was too pricey, so I went with Refog Keylogger Software ($65) for three licenses. It seemed to have everything that I needed - capturing keystroke, screenshots, URLs visited, accessed Software, scheduled email report.
The only thing is that it was detected by most security/anti-virus software during installation, so I had to uninstall security/anti-virus software from the target computer.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Hi sglee,

I went with Refog Keylogger Software ($65) for three licenses. It seemed to have everything that I needed - capturing keystroke, screenshots, URLs visited, accessed Software, scheduled email report.

Thank you for updating this thread with what you decided on sglee. As I occasionally get requests for this type of software from clients, I'll add it to my list of programs to try out myself.

Can you advise how easy you found installation and configuration for average "not too IT savvy" users? Easy to set up, configure and maintain? I've be very interested in your experience with it.

Regards, Andrew

Author

Commented:
1. I had to uninstall all of my anti-virus software because test installation was blocked by both  ESet and Webroot.
2. I did not want to spend time trying to figure out how to add this software path to "Exclusion List" in ESet although Refog KB article suggested I could make it work.
3. Refog will NOT work when webroot is present.
4. I did not want to deal with Malwarebyte products. I simply uninstalled everything before installing Refog.
5. User interface was very straightforward. I purchased Refog Personal Keylogger version because I wanted email notification option. Their basic version does not have email option. Their business version has FTP option which I did not need.
6. The product is running on target computer and it has been sending activity report via email regularly.
7. I noticed a problem. The email recipient mailbox rejected incoming email report due to it exceeded the limit of 50MB default size. So I increased the max size of the mailbox to 500MB.
8. But new activity emails would not come in and my ISP told me that target computer network static IP address has been listed in SORBS.
9. I requested SORBS to delist the IP address and now delisted.
10. However emails were not coming. When I asked tech support of Refog about it, they said that I should try to send "test email" from the program again and I am going to do that at the end of the day.
I don't know what caused sender's network IP address to be blacklisted by SORBS at this point.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
sglee,

Thanks so much for your detailed notes about how you went about installing the software and the issues you encountered. Very useful information that I've now added to my personal knowledge base to refer to for future questions related to this topic.

Very much appreciate your comment.

Regards, Andrew

Author

Commented:
Email reporting had resumed  automatically early today on its own, probably after SORBS delisted IP address.
All in all it is a good product with very affordable pricing (< $70 for 3 licenses). The only downside is that the target computer is currently without any security protection.
How was Veriato Investigator - price, installation problems with security software, features?
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Hi sglee,

With regards to Veriato Investigator, the price wasn't really an issue as the two clients I installed and administrated it for remotely were both corporate Accounting firms and were more concerned with accurate reporting on the employees they wanted to be monitored than how much it would cost to achieve the end goal.

One of the employees I monitored ended up sacked on the spot after only two days of reporting and I felt kind of bad about being a part of that happening, but it was his own fault and I had the Director of the firm sign a disclaimer that I was being instructed to monitor and report on his activities lest I was sued if an employee discovered that I did the monitoring before I agreed to do the work.

Installation took a bit of work, (no AV uninstalls were required) as Veriato also provided an excellent instructional document on how to install and whitelist the software on dozens of different AV and Anti-Malware solutions which made it very easy to install, but it did take a fair bit of time. About an hour on each workstation from memory.

Features of the software were excellent. I convinced the director that activating the Key Logging feature was a bad idea in case employees used their workstations to access their online banking or similar, but the most useful features were:

  • Creating a video of whatever was done on the workstation that was updated with snapshots every two seconds and could be played back, so the entire workday and what was done on the workstation could be viewed just like any other video and the video size footprint was very small, despite how clear it was
  • Time spent on each website visited was recorded and reported
  • Time spent on each application (where it was actively used) was also recorded and reported
  • Time spent on actively using any software on the workstation was also recorded and reported
  • Any reboots of the workstation did not interrupt the software recordings and they resumed from the point where the user was presented with the login screen to enter their password

There were a number of other features that could have been turned on, but the above are the ones I used and all that was needed for my purposes.

Regards, Andrew

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the information.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
You're welcome sglee and glad I could help out with your question.

Regards, Andrew

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial