What is a rootkit virus? Well those words alone sound scary and they most certainly can be.
According to Wikipedia.org
A rootkit is a stealthy type of software, typically malicious, designed to hide the existence of certain processes or programs from normal methods of detection and enable continued privileged access to a computer. The term rootkit is a concatenation of “root” (the traditional name of the privileged account on Unix operating systems) and the word “kit” (which refers to the software components that implement the tool). The term “rootkit” has negative connotations through its association with malware.
So you can call it simply a “rootkit” or a “rootkit virus” as Wikipedia says that a rootkit is typically malicious.
What Does A Rootkit Virus Do?
A rootkit can be used for good and evil. For example you can have a BIOS based rootkit installed onto your laptop for anti theft protection. Unfortunately most of the time a rootkit isn’t readily associated with anything good at all and is instantly presumed malicious. A rootkit virus or malware is always intended to be malicious in some way.
- Rootkits are usually designed to hide the presence of an attacker.
- Rootkits can gain control of a system or allow hackers to enter your system through backdoors opened by the rootkit.
- Rootkits can give hackers access to your personal files, financial details, and personal information to help them steal your identity.
- Rootkits can be used to launch distributed denial of service (ddos) attacks, or obtain financial or confidential information.
- A rootkit can avoid detection from commonly used software used for diagnosis, scanning, and monitoring. For example it can disable your antivirus program, hide running processes and more.
- It can disable the event logging utility of a windows operating system in an attempt to hide evidence of an attack.
- It can overwrite files to protect itself. For example it can overwrite the Isof command which is used to show a list of open files on your computer. If this file is overwritten then you might not see any files or processes open by the rootkit.
Other Examples of Rootkits
- This one might not be classed as a virus but it does have malicious intentions by robbing the software companies of their rightful revenue. Rootkits can be used to defeat copy-protection mechanisms and are used in warez (illegal software). For example an expensive game might read the digital signature on a disc each time the game is played, therefore proving authentication. A rootkit can help bypass these security checks.
How To Find A Rootkit Virus On Your Computer?
Normal anti virus software might not pick up the existence of a rootkit virus as that is the whole point of this malicious software. It has been developed from the start to make it harder to find and kill. Therefore we must download different software to find these rootkits. Two of the best examples are TDSSKILLER rootkit software and Malwarebytes anti-rootkit software.