Open KEY File

Information, tips and instructions

KEY Files Virus Protection

Files with KEY extension are commonly used by Apple Keynote program for presentations. Although sometimes they are given other uses, Keynote is the best known and therefore does not escape the fact of being attacked by malicious software.

Presentations that have a KEY file extension are compressed container files, which hold all the information, transitions, effects, and multimedia files included in the presentation.

Although it is true that Mac OS is not a preferred target for hackers, they also present vulnerabilities that are fully exploitable to introduce malware and others.

Apple office suite, iWork, made up of Keynote, Pages, and Numbers typically releases updates to correct vulnerabilities that could allow arbitrary code execution and system compromise just by opening a specifically created document.

These vulnerabilities can be input validation and memory corruption that affect Keynote and that through its output files, can infect other systems.

KEY files can contain malicious XML code within their (internal) files that can be run transparently to the user. The capabilities of 'malware' that can be transmitted through KEY files, can include theft of user login credentials through Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Outlook, iCloud and others, with screenshots, recording of webcams and installation of additional 'malware' on infected computers.

There have been cases in which an installation script hidden in the presentation executes the malicious software packages that connects to a remote system that allows the attacking computer to send commands to the infected computer to search the system for confidential information, keep track of the sites the user visits on the Web, or record keystrokes.

The best recommendations to avoid an infection through .key files are the following:

      Install good and reliable antivirus software, and keep it up to date. For example:
      1. Sophos Home Premium
      2. Avast Free Mac Security
      3. Avira Free Antivirus
    1. Do a frequent scan of your operating system.
    2. Download the KEY files (templates) only from trusted sites.
    3. Avoid unzipping a KEY file if you do not have to. Just open it with the appropriate software, in this case, Apple Keynote.
    4. Only have the official Apple software installed for working with KEY presentations, Apple Keynote.
    5. If the KEY presentation is not working properly, it could be a sign that it might be infected. Ask your provider to send it back to you and do a pre-scan with your antivirus software.
    6. Remember that the security of your system depends for the most part on yourself and your prudence when operating it.