Posts Tagged ‘rootkit’
This may be a term you haven’t heard of before, at least in this context. I have, and unfortunately it’s not something we want living on our computers. Let’s take a look at what a rootkit is and how you can deal with getting it the heck ‘outa Dodge!
Rootkits first became known as a type of anti-pirating device put onto music CD’s to help keep thieves from stealing their music. It has since devolved into something entirely more sinister. Typically today, a rootkit is a program that affixes itself in your computers root directory and becomes a base for someone other than you, and apart from your location to have access to your machine. You can imagine the type of havoc this could bring about. Most often it is someone seeking information, and this can be given to them in the form of your credit cards, personal information, passwords, in short, anything that is on your computer that the thief may have an interest in exploiting. This rootkit is often disguised as a utility program, when it in fact has utilities of its own that grant access to your machine from other users.
Sometimes these utilities create “backdoors” into your computer, which open you up to a host of unwanted intrusions. They create false administrators that can do practically anything you can on your own computer, including even changing your password so you can’t even access your own machine! This is clearly not a road you want to go down.
One particularly nefarious aspect this can take on is if your computer happens to be on a network. Then it not has your computer begging for mercy, but can use it as a mother ship to send out evil little missives to all the other computers in your network, all the while making it look like you’re the bad guy here, as it’s coming from your computer! You won’t be very popular very long if this happens.
Not only can rootkits give you a rough time by collecting your info and al that in your network, but they can also open doors that are virtually impossible to close by making it easier for other nasty programs like keyloggers, various viruses, and more spyware than you thought existed to come and have a party at your house!
So now that we know we definitely don’t want any part of rootkits, how do we prevent them from showing up in the first place? Well firstly make sure you’re very careful of just what you download. Music files, shared files and other types of software from the internet are very susceptible to this kind of evil. Also, make very sure you are vigilant in keeping your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs running and up to date. Perform scans regularly, and make sure you schedule them to take place automatically, so you’re sure. You can have this happen when you’re sleeping, so there will be no lost productivity.
The best way to fight rootkits is to be proactive in your defense!
If you’ve ever heard the term “rootkit” used, it probably hasn’t been under very good circumstances. Most people first heard of the term when Sony BMG was discovered to have installed rootkit software on their music CDs as an anti-pirating device. But what is a rootkit program, what can it do to your computer, and how to protect yourself against them?
A rootkit is a program that installs itself in a computer’s root directory and allows someone other than the computer’s owner to take control of the computer system. As you might guess, this “someone” is none too likely to have good intentions.
(Yes, some rootkits have been used for constructive purposes. But if there’s one on your computer, and you didn’t either put it there or explicitly have someone else put it there–it’s probably not being used towards ends beneficial to you.)
A rootkit generally masquerades as a utility program, and may even intertwine itself with beneficial software. It generally has its own hidden utilities which allow outside users to access the infected computer.
One common malicious way this works is by creating a backdoor into your computer. This allows a person from a remote location to attack or otherwise access your computer at will. Usually this involves an attacker having administrator access to your computer. Think your credit card, password, and personal information is safe? Not when if you’ve got a backdoor, it’s not. A malicious individual can even change your computer’s password, so that you can’t even get on it!
One way for a malicious user to make use of a rootkit on your computer, is to use your system to further abuse or hack other systems or networks. They will use your computer as a “base of operations” for hacking, cracking, or otherwise abusing other systems, while making the abuse look like it comes from your computer!
Not only are rootkits good at collecting information and using your computer as a proxy–they also help hide other malicious programs such as keyloggers, viruses, and all kinds of spyware. So this one malicious program not only can abuse your safety and security by itself–it also opens the door for all manner of other programs to do the same.
What can you do to avoid downloading this especially insidious form of malware/spyware? As always, be careful of anything you download. Check what you’re downloading against Google and any spyware protection you may have.
Of course, given the insidious “007” nature of the rootkit, this isn’t always enough. You definitely need to perform regular scans of your computer. You’ll also want to make sure you anti-virus and anti-spyware editions are kept up to date.
Finally, don’t forget to upload your reports every time you scan your computer. That way, your reports can be analyzed, giving you a second tier of detection and protection from malicious rootkit software.
There is a never-ending list of harmful programs online that seek to negatively affect your system and steal your personal information. Rootkits are one of the main ways such programs are able to function as successfully as they do.
What is a Rootkit?
Rootkits are not malware. Rather, they are the programs that help hide the malware. Rootkits were originally used for non-malicious activities but have more recently been used by hackers for malicious purposes.
A rootkit is the best way for a hacker to corrupt someone’s computer system without detection. Rootkits hide various utilities and provide a virtual back door to the perpetrating hacker. This allows the hacker high-level access to the very “root” of the computer system’s information. That means the most private information is vulnerable.
What can a rootkit do?
With the ability to remain undetected, rootkits allow a variety of destructive programs to run on a computer unknown to the owner. For instance, many rootkits hide the presence of a keylogger. Keyloggers are a nasty type of spyware that record every keystroke you make. Every password, credit card number, and e-mail is surveiled, recorded, and sent back to the hacker. This is one of the easiest ways for a hacker to steal your identity.
Rootkits also hide programs that alter your computer system. This can mean changing log files, harming other computers in the same network, and changing the very system setting that would normally detect the presence of malware. Rootkits can disguise programs that literally hijack your computer. Sometimes such programs can eventually slow the computer down so substantially that it becomes virtually useless. Since the rootkit hides the malicious program, a computer user in this situation will oftentimes assume their computer is old and needs to be replaced. Many computers are disposed of for this reason, when all they really need is a good cleaning to wipe out all of the existing rootkits and malware.
Detecting a Rootkit
As you may imagine, scanning for rootkits is no easy task. Remaining undetected is a rootkit’s main job, so many antispyware programs won’t catch rootkits and thus won’t catch the malware it veils. Fortunately there are a few quality antispyware programs like ZookaWare PC Cleaner, Spy Sweeper, Counter Spy and Spyware Doctor that will detect and remove rootkits.
As a result of the highly effective antispyware programs, hackers are constantly altering rootkits in attempts to remain undetected by this software. A quality program will offer daily automatic updates to combat the changing habits of the hackers and their new rootkits. These updates are the key to preventing any new rootkits from invading your computer.
An antispyware program that is worth your money will also provide customer service that is knowledgeable of the ins and outs of rootkits and spyware. Access to computer-smart customer service representatives is well worth the money you pay for the software. No one wants a generalized computer recording when calling about important computer issues, especially when it concerns matters such as identity theft.
By installing high-quality antispyware software, you are committing to an insurance policy for your computer and all of the important information that goes on it. It is important not to overlook this important security measure.
Run a free scan of ZookaWare PC Cleaner to find out if you have rootkits on your pc.