Corsair says bug, not keylogger, behind some K100 keyboards’ creepy behavior

Keylogger-like habits has some Corsair K100 keyboard clients involved. A number of customers have reported their peripheral randomly coming into textual content into their pc that they beforehand typed days or even weeks in the past. Nonetheless, Corsair advised Ars Technica that the habits is a bug, not keylogging, and it is presumably associated to the keyboard’s macro recording function.

A reader tipped us off to an ongoing thread on Corsair’s help discussion board {that a} consumer began in August. The consumer claimed that their K100 began typing by itself whereas they use it with a MacBook Professional, gaming pc, and KVM swap.

“Each couple of days, the keyboard has began randomly typing by itself whereas I’m engaged on the MacBook. It often appears to kind messages that I beforehand typed on the gaming PC and it will not cease till I unplug the keyboard and plug it again in,” the consumer, “brendenguy,” wrote.

Corsair's K100 keyboard.

Enlarge / Corsair’s K100 keyboard.

Ten customers seemingly responded to the thread (we won’t confirm the validity of every declare or account, however Corsair confirmed it is a recognized concern), reporting comparable experiences.

One stated their keyboard began coming into a “particular line from a really delicate e mail” whereas interacting with shopper information with their PC in Protected Mode. One consumer famous that they do not use Corsair’s iCue software program for programming peripherals however had the same expertise. One other stated their K100 typed out greater than 100 letters towards their will, and manufacturing facility resets and clearing the keyboard’s reminiscence did not resolve the difficulty. There are additionally some threads on the Linus Tech Ideas discussion board with folks claiming the identical drawback. Some clients stated they feared they have been hacked on the time, whereas a couple of accused Corsair of stealthy keylogging.

Corsair confirmed to Ars that it is acquired “a number of” experiences of the K100 appearing like this however affirmed that “there’s no {hardware} operate on the keyboard that operates as a key logger.” The corporate did not instantly reply to follow-up questions on what number of keyboards have been affected.

“Corsair keyboards unequivocally don’t log consumer enter in any approach and shouldn’t have the flexibility to log particular person keystrokes,” Corsair’s rep advised Ars Technica.

In addition they insisted that the difficulty is not widespread, with only a “small quantity” of complaints from “tens of 1000’s” of K100 gross sales.

The corporate is investigating what’s inflicting the difficulty however believes it may very well be associated to the keyboard’s capacity to document macros. Some, however not all customers, noticed the difficulty resolved with a latest firmware replace Corsair issued, in line with Corsair and one individual on Corsair’s discussion board (though they claimed to have completely different points after performing the replace).

 “The macro operate may very well be inadvertently switching on and recording keyboard, and doubtlessly mouse, inputs. These macros are then being triggered and reproducing inputs at a later time and misinterpreted as keylogging. We’re nonetheless investigating the exact nature of the difficulty with our clients.,” Corsair’s spokesperson stated. 

One consumer on Corsair’s discussion board stated that when their K100 inadvertently entered textual content they typed days in the past, the enter included the identical backspaces and pauses they recalled making when initially typing the content material, which seems like a macro operate. Corsair’s K100 permits macro recording with or with out its proprietary software program.

This additionally is not a singular drawback. We discovered years-old discussions on Reddit that reported comparable habits with Logitech keyboards, and a few concluded that unintended macro recording was the wrongdoer.

Nonetheless, we do not blame customers for being cautious. In any case, everyone knows how inconspicuous keylogging tech may be. We have seen keyloggers covertly lurking in the whole lot from laptop computer touchpad and audio drivers to company laptops and networks and pc equipment, like keyboards and cables.

Even when there isn’t any malicious exercise, any erratic habits from a peripheral as superior and costly the K100 is irritating. Corsair is without doubt one of the most well-known gaming peripheral manufacturers, and the K100 is one in all its most costly keyboards. With a $200 MSRP, the K100 has among the flashiest options, together with the debut of Corsair’s Axon system-on-chip enabling an 8,000 Hz polling fee, optical mechanical switches, a financial institution of macro keys, and a programmable dial. We have not seen any experiences of comparable points with the Corsair K100 Air or different keyboards from the model.

Any affected clients ought to contact Corsair’s help group, Corsair’s rep stated. In addition they stated that affected customers may reset the K100 by unplugging the keyboard after which holding down Esc for 5 seconds whereas plugging it in.

In response to anybody nonetheless caring in regards to the Corsair keyboard’s safety, the corporate’s spokesperson stated: “Corsair takes buyer information privateness very critically, and even when a single consumer is impacted, we’ll rapidly work to resolve the difficulty.” We requested Corsair it could provide refunds for the K100 and can replace this piece if we hear again.

Corsair’s K100 got here out in October 2020 and has a two-year guarantee.

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