Remote Keyloggers: How They Work and How to Get Rid of Them on Your Android Device


How can a keylogger be installed on an Android device without physical access?

I have been experiencing some strange behavior on my Android phone, such as old and deleted texts being resent to random contacts, especially to someone I had an affair with. I suspect that my soon to be ex wife has somehow installed a keylogger on my phone, but she denies it and I have not given her access to my phone. I ran a scan with TotalAV and it detected stalker.kidlogger, which I removed along with the System Update app it was hiding under. However, when I searched for Kidlogger, I found out that it requires manual installation on the device. Is there any way that this keylogger could have been installed remotely, such as by clicking a malicious link or downloading a compromised app from the Play Store? I need some expert advice on this matter. Thank you.


A keylogger is a type of malware that records every keystroke made on a device, and can be used to steal sensitive information, such as passwords, messages, or credit card details. Keyloggers can also be used to spy on someone’s activities, such as who they are texting, calling, or browsing online.

One of the most common ways to install a keylogger on an Android device is by physically accessing it and downloading the malicious app from a third-party source, such as a website or a USB drive. However, there are also some methods that can allow a keylogger to be installed remotely, without the need for physical access. These methods include:

  • Phishing: This is a technique where the attacker sends a fake email or message that looks like it comes from a legitimate source, such as a bank, a social media platform, or a friend. The message contains a link or an attachment that, when clicked or opened, downloads the keylogger app on the device. The user may not even notice the installation, as the app may run in the background or disguise itself as a legitimate app, such as a system update or a game.
  • Exploiting vulnerabilities: This is a technique where the attacker exploits a security flaw or a bug in the device’s software or hardware, such as the operating system, the browser, or the Bluetooth. The attacker can use this flaw to gain access to the device and install the keylogger app without the user’s knowledge or consent. For example, in 2017, a vulnerability called BlueBorne was discovered that allowed hackers to infect Android devices via Bluetooth without pairing or user interaction.
  • Compromising the network: This is a technique where the attacker gains access to the network that the device is connected to, such as a Wi-Fi hotspot, a cellular network, or a VPN. The attacker can then intercept the traffic between the device and the internet, and inject the keylogger app into the data stream. The user may not be aware of the attack, as the network may appear to be normal and secure.
  • To prevent a keylogger from being installed on your Android device, you should follow some basic security practices, such as:

  • Avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments: Do not open any email or message that looks suspicious, even if it seems to come from someone you know or trust. Always verify the sender and the content before clicking on any link or attachment. If you are not sure, do not click on it.
  • Update your device regularly: Make sure that your device’s software and hardware are up to date with the latest security patches and updates. This can help fix any vulnerabilities or bugs that may expose your device to attacks. You can check for updates in your device’s settings or by visiting the manufacturer’s website.
  • Use a reputable antivirus app: Install a reliable antivirus app on your device that can scan and remove any malware, including keyloggers. You can find many antivirus apps on the Google Play Store, but make sure to read the reviews and ratings before downloading them. Some of the popular antivirus apps for Android are Avast, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and Norton.
  • Be careful with the apps you download: Only download apps from trusted sources, such as the Google Play Store, and avoid any third-party or unknown sources. Check the permissions and reviews of the apps before installing them, and delete any apps that you do not use or need. You can also use a tool like Google Play Protect, which scans your device for potentially harmful apps and warns you if any are found.
  • If you suspect that your Android device has been infected with a keylogger, you should take immediate action to remove it and protect your data. Some of the steps you can take are:

  • Scan your device with an antivirus app: Run a full scan of your device with a reputable antivirus app, and follow the instructions to remove any detected malware, including keyloggers. You may need to restart your device or boot it in safe mode to complete the removal process.
  • Change your passwords: Change the passwords of all your online accounts, especially those that contain sensitive or personal information, such as your email, social media, banking, or shopping accounts. Use strong and unique passwords for each account, and avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. You can also use a password manager app to generate and store your passwords securely.
  • Monitor your accounts and devices: Keep an eye on your online accounts and devices for any unusual or suspicious activity, such as unauthorized logins, transactions, messages, or calls. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, report it to the relevant service provider or authority, and take the necessary steps to secure your account or device. You can also enable two-factor authentication or biometric authentication for your accounts and devices, which adds an extra layer of security to your login process.
  • Keyloggers are a serious threat to your Android device and your privacy, and they can be installed remotely without your knowledge or consent. However, by following some simple security tips and taking prompt action, you can prevent and remove keyloggers from your device, and safeguard your data and identity.

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