Now, what is a rootkit, you may wonder. Over time, PC users are being exposed to new kinds of malware apart from conventional computer viruses. Gone are the days when just installing an antivirus program would provide protection from malware.
Nowadays, computer users need to be aware of various types of malware, including rootkits. If you are unaware about this malware variant and are wondering about rootkits, there are certain things you need to know about this malware.
A rootkit does not behave in the way a typical computer virus does. It does not interfere directly with applications or the OS. It remains hidden within the OS kernel and evades the scanning conducted by regular system security software. It sends confidential user data to other users, mostly hackers, which helps them exploit PCs and significantly compromise user security. In many instances, PC users take a long time to understand the repercussions of rootkit infection.
Rootkits can actually have far reaching consequences on an infected computer than regular viruses. They manage to stay hidden in most instances and even affect the system BIOS. People interested about what is a rootkit need to remember that unlike most PC viruses, they can affect operating systems other than Windows. The first ever rootkit was actually developed for the Unix OS.
Sometimes, rootkits developed for no harmful reasons can be misused by malicious hackers. This is what struck the millions of PC users who had bought Sony BMG CDs in 2005. These CDs had a rootkit to implement DRM. It was meant to prevent music piracy, but the rootkit in these CDS fell into the wrong hands, and the consequences were severe.
There are many ways in which a rootkit can sneak into a computer. It can come bundled with some trial software or with adware. This is why users should be careful about installing applications from unknown sources.
When you want to know what is a rootkit, you need to be aware of how it spreads too. They can also spread through all types of removable media (e.g. optical media disks, USB drives, aso.), unsafe email attachments and malicious links (using your browser vulnerabilities for drive-by downloads).
Apart from using only trusted software, PC users need to install quality anti-rootkit apps on their PCs. Antivirus software vendors like Avast, Avira, eScan, K7, Kaspersky, Norman, Panda, Trend Micro, Vipre and Malwarebytes included integrated rootkit scanning in their products.
Rootkits are difficult to detect and can often be removed only with considerable effort. To be on the safer side, every user who installs any kind of software or making online purchases and transactions should use adequate safety measures. Although changing account passwords periodically and using virtual keyboards offer some degree of protection from malware such as rootkits I recommend that you
When it comes to the question what is a rootkit you should be aware that this type of malware is one of the most dangerous PC users can face. Rootkit removal without reinstalling your operating system is only under certain circumstances possible. For that reason you should take every precaution against this type of malware.