Major SpyShelter announcement: Keyboard encryption is dead, long live keyboard encryption

Mike Tyson once said that “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. Unfortunately, while working on our plan to implement a modern version of keyboard encryption, we at SpyShelter got a big punch right in our collective mouths.

We’re embarrassed to say that we showed “Coming Soon” for our Keyboard Encryption feature, under the Protection tab in our brand new SpyShelter version 15 and told SpyShelter fans that we plan to launch this feature after leaving beta.

Unfortunately, after researching carefully we have made the difficult decision to permanently remove keyboard encryption from SpyShelter 15.

Why won’t keyboard encryption be in SpyShelter 15?

While attempting to create a modern version of keyboard encryption that would continue to function on Windows 10, 11, and any future Windows versions, we found that it’s unlikely that this technology could continue to work with future Windows updates.

Perhaps we could have rigged something together temporarily, but we can see the direction Microsoft is heading with their OS, and we’d be charging SpyShelter users money for a feature that could be discontinued by Microsoft at any time.

On top of this, the technique that needs to be used to effectively encrypt the keyboard also looks like malware to Windows Security, and other antivirus software, so our app would most likely be blocked by Microsoft and others. From an ethical point of view, charging SpyShelter fans money for something that Microsoft, or other security apps can block any time didn’t feel right to us, so we made the difficult decision to terminate keyboard encryption inside SpyShelter 15.

So now SpyShelter has no antikeylogger capabilities?

One thing that made this decision easier for us is that we feel confident our new SpyShelter 15 security features should give you adequate protection from keyloggers, and other spyware. For example, in SpyShelter 15 go to the “Protection” tab, and you’ll see our threat protection should detect and automatically quarantine keyloggers that try to start. Then on top of this our Application Controls should prevent keyloggers from starting in the first place.

Our anti-screenshot technology still exists in SpyShelter also under our “Protection” tab.

Are you putting anything in the place of keyboard encryption?

After our beta release came out, many SpyShelter fans requested webcam/mic detection, and we’re working on adding a modern version of that technology that will work well on Windows 10/11, and going forward. We plan to release that in place of keyboard encryption.

But, you wrote in the announcement “long live keyboard encryption”?

Yes, well there is some potential good news in all of this. Ethically we felt like we should not include keyboard encryption as a paid feature in SpyShelter 15 because it may be made impossible due to future Microsoft Windows updates.

However, we’re still going to try to release a completely free keyboard encryption antikeylogger app for everyone to use. This way, if Microsoft breaks this potential new free antikeylogger app, or antiviruses block us, we can still continue to work on this free app without taking money from customers and having to tell them the feature is now impossible.

We plan to try to release something before the Summer is over, and it should be free for anyone to use. The new app will use techniques that Microsoft and antiviruses don’t like, so you may need to whitelist it, but we hope to provide a modern and functional keyboard encryption app for the latest Windows versions.

Are you discontinuing the original SpyShetler keyboard encryption antikeylogger?

Absolutely not! Although in many cases it doesn’t work effectively in Windows 10/11 and will probably not work in future Windows versions, all SpyShelter Classic customers can still use the original apps with their codes with no problems any time they want.

We want to be 100% honest here, and while we hope we can offer this free keyboard encryption app, nothing is guaranteed, and we may get yet another punch to our faces. I can only promise that we’re going to try our best to create a new modern antikeylogger app to everyone for free, whether you purchase our SpyShelter 15 software or not.

If you enjoy SpyShelter, please consider purchasing our new version 15 when sales are available. But if you have lost confidence in us, I hope we can successfully release a free antikeylogger in the future so you’ll believe in us again.

Please feel free to ask any questions and I’ll answer to the best of my ability. We hope you’ll accept our apologies with this disappointing announcement.


I’m surprised nobody has responded, even though this thread has a ton of views. Therefore I’m going to make a poll to help gauge feedback on this issue.

  • SpyShelter should make a new separate keyboard encryption app
  • SpyShelter should focus on other new security technologies instead of keyboard encryption
0 voters

Please consider voting if possible and thanks for your feedback. Of course, just because people vote for “other new security technologies” it doesn’t mean we aren’t going to still try to move forward with a free keyboard encryption app.

Ok, I’m going to bite.

A little baffling how this only now comes to light that you won’t include keyboard encryption, it is why I bought SpyShelter in the first place. :wink: Perhaps if you would explain why it apparently took so long to realize and what those future updates to windows (perhaps their own version of keyboard encryption?) makes it a no go and how long into the future keyboard encryption could function if you did include anyway.

So far I like 15 quite a bit and will certainly continue to try beta’s until SS is released and then make a judgement whether to purchase SS 15 at that time. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for responding. Our behavior probably does look baffling, so I’ll try to explain what happened.

First, I’ll give an example of something that happened recently with the clipboard protection feature that’s in the old SpyShelter version. Recently we received reports that clipboard protection stopped working for some people on Windows 11 (due to a Windows update) with the old SpyShelter version. Then later Microsoft put out another OS update, and suddenly clipboard protection worked again.

This Windows OS update event that disabled clipboard encryption happened fairly recently and was completely unexpected. Since the Windows OS change was fairly recent, then it probably looks like we sat on our hands for a year and then suddenly made this decision, but the decision was made due to this recent OS change.

The non-standard techniques the old SpyShelter version uses for keyboard encryption and clipboard protection can unfortunately be easily disabled any time by Microsoft with no warning. Microsoft doesn’t expect developers to use these non-standard techniques, that are not officially supported. If we put non-standard functionality into a paid application we think it could be unfair to customers because what they paid for may suddenly stop working due to a Windows update.

On top of this, the non-standard techniques (required for keyboard encryption) are sometimes detected by third party security applications that can also break the old SpyShelter app in some cases.

Very recently we found a more official way that Microsoft allows, that we believe will allow us to add keyboard encryption in a way that’s more likely to be tolerated longer term. However, nothing is guaranteed by Microsoft, and we don’t want to charge money for something that randomly stops working.

We only began researching this other technique after clipboard protection was randomly disabled recently by a Windows update. This recent unexpected event is why we made the decision about trying to make a secondary keyboard encryption app that is fully focused on that one feature.

By the way, our SpyShelter team is abstaining from this poll.

Thank you Carl for explaining this in a way i can understand! :wink:

I agree that non-standard techniques is not the way to go forward, i hope the other techniques you are researching for a possible future standalone keyboard encryption app is possible. But if it is not possible or will hold back SS 15 development, then i would change my vote to concentrate on SS15.

When will the next update to 15 be released, itching to see what you come up with!

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Thank you @SirPercy.

We hope to have a major update out within 7 days or sooner. SpyShelter will now have an option to detect/stop PUPs (Probably Unwanted Programs) as requested by users.

In my opinion spyshelter should create an app for keyboard encryption but it is not a priority because there are several free alternative applications that encrypt keystrokes.


I think exactly the same thing.

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I suggest the following option. Let the paid version of the program have the keyboard encryption option, but by default it will be disabled and there will be a message that in certain circumstances encryption may not work and a link to the help where this explanation with Windows updates will be indicated. If the user enables this option, and then a situation happens that after updating Windows, keyboard encryption stops working, then the program should display a pop-up message in the tray that keyboard encryption is disabled, if then keyboard encryption resumes, then a message that encryption is working again.

Thus, the user who bought the paid version should have a choice - to enable or not to enable this function, despite the fact that he should be informed that under certain circumstances the function may not work, and these circumstances do not depend on the developers of the program, but depend on the system itself. And everyone will decide for himself whether he needs this feature enabled or left off by default.

After all, most users install an anti-keylogger type program, precisely because of the protection function against hidden, tricky keyloggers, and the encryption function (by non-standard methods or some other) of the keyboard is one of the important ones here.

I have been following the discussions of the SpyShelter program on the malvaretips forum, and the news that this feature will not be in the paid program has upset people very much.

Thanks for your feedback! I am not sure if it’s technically possible to know if it works or not but I’ll discuss this interesting idea with our team.

Please ask those in the Malwaretips forum to come discuss/vote if possible. We are also upset about this issue too and we didn’t want it to happen this way.

I think it should be added to the paid version, but it should not be active.

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But if you paid for our software, then it stopped working and we could not fix it due to Windows OS update circumstances outside our control. Wouldn’t you be angry?

A future update?

Any possibility of an HIPS protection option? Or a possible integration into a Firewall?

Carl, I’m only asking because SpyShelter has a great potential… even without Keyboard encryption.

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Thank you for your feedback on adding firewall and HIPS related functionalities to SpyShelter 15.

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As of today, 70% say “SpyShelter should make a new separate keyboard encryption app”.

If you want to participate please scroll up to vote. Please note that our SpyShelter team is abstaining from this vote.

There are two fundamental differences in the situations:

  1. when the program developers are lazy, greedy, poorly performing their work, thereby writing off their laziness and bad work to “circumstances beyond their control”, thereby selling a low-quality product with broken functions.

  2. when developers try to develop their product, they honestly do their job, but there are objective circumstances that do not allow them to implement some important function the way the program developers would like, and they can’t do anything about it, so they offer a product where this function is present, but there is an honest warning to the user, that under certain circumstances, the correct operation of this function is not guaranteed and a clear explanation is given why it is not guaranteed and in what circumstances. And the user, at his discretion, can either enable this feature or leave it disabled.

Agree, these are two different situations. And if in the first case, you can get angry at developers and abandon their product, then in the second case there is no reason to be angry at them.

Since your case belongs to the second category, why should anyone be angry with you if you integrate this feature into the product, honestly warning the user about everything that I have already described above?

Of course, someone can say that there is always a risk of moving from the second category to the first, but this is already a question of the moral attitudes of each person and the team as a whole. I hope that this will not happen to you and your team.

Therefore, you can integrate this feature into a paid product, allowing the user to decide for himself whether to enable it or not.

It’s a pity that there was no option in your vote - to integrate keyboard encryption into the paid version, making this feature disabled by default.

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I’ve been running SpyShelter Premium since v12.5, April, 2021 and GlassWire since v1.2.73, August, 2016 in Win10 Pro on my EDU (every day use) i9-9900K system (GW on my previous EDU i7-3770K).

In December, I was invited to test the Spy Shelter v15 beta v0.0.1 and I’m currently with the v15.0.1.485b public beta. It’s running on a dedicated test system (aka blow-up box) which mirrors my EDU. It’s a Core 2 Duo E8400, originally running XP. Win10 Pro began in late-2015 with a Windows Insider build and updated monthly since then.

As a professional in enterprise desktop support and IT infrastructure for over 20 years, I have come to greatly appreciate and depend on the protection and security, in parallel with Defender, afforded by Jon Hundley’s GlassWire and now his project to bring SpyShelter forward and beyond from its 2009 roots.

I had for a while now been aware of discussions about Win10 and 11 in regards to the concerns of anti-keyloggers. The SpyShelter team is, to my knowledge, the first developer to publicly announce there can be no guarantee of persistent, practical efficacy of an anti-keylogger strategy. The reasoning is well explained (read: Microsoft) up top in Carl’s OP. Hi, Carl!

That the takeover by a keylogger threat should be blocked by a user’s anti-whatever strategy to begin with is a valid argument. And SpyShelter v15 will replace v14 in my strategy.

As for the security blanket of any stand-alone anti-keylogger offerings in the marketplace, my 2¢ is…

SpyShelter could do well in the court of geek opinion by throwing their hat in the ring with a free anti-keylogger having the caveat persistent efficacy cannot be assured and support will be a category of public threads in this forum.


Thanks @Surt. Our team reviews all of these comments and thanks for taking the time to give your feedback on this issue.