Rootkits are the biggest current information security threat, and every home and business computer is vulnerable. You may have read that these computer viruses are nearly impossible to remove. Is there any truth to that statement? This quick guide will offer a quick explanation.
How Rootkits Work?
Rootkit viruses give themselves administrator privilege on your computer. Detection is difficult because the rootkit can modify the system files on your computer – it can modify files as the most basic level, changing the way they operate. The very first target is often your Antivirus Software and security programs. The rootkit can affect system-monitoring tools as well, making it difficult if not impossible to see it at all.
As they stand, a rootkit can sit undetected indefinitely. Most computer owners never realize that the malicious virus is there until other viruses and malware start cropping up, usually due the fact that the rootkit disabled real-time system protection features.
Many times, the first sign of trouble may be a compromised bank or social networking account, sometimes months after the infection first found its way into the system. These infiltrations are easy to blame on the spyware or adware that found its way in through the compromised network security, and computer users are then lulled into a false sense of security once those minor viruses are removed.
Because ordinary removal methods do not get rid of rootkit viruses, the entire process could begin again within days or months. The rootkit can replicate and spread itself to other workstations by piggybacking on USB thumb drives or even cellphones, e-readers, and other mobile devices. This can keep a rootkit active within a network long after the original culprit is discovered and neutralized.
The Bottom Line
There is no way to ensure that your operating system is entirely clean even if you are able to find and remove the rootkit itself. The problem is that a well-designed rootkit can modify or destroy certain system files necessary for complete security, and removing the rootkit does not repair those files. Security experts recommend a selective backup and complete reinstallation of the operating system itself or sometimes deep-complete scan of system in safe mode helps!
Are you unsure about how to proceed? Contact a reputable computer repair professional for advice and assistance. Even if you do not have the original operating system CD, a computer repair technician should be able to provide a fresh disk as long as you still have your activation code (this is usually located on a sticker somewhere on your computer).
Once your computer is nice and clean, make sure to change all of your important passwords. Rootkits can behave just as maliciously as any other virus, logging your keystrokes or stealing your information. Some hackers will hold onto your login information and wait weeks or even months to target your bank accounts or social networks. You might even want to call your bank and let them know about the potential security breach.
Don’t worry. Your computer is not fried, and it’s not broken. Reinstalling the operating system – using an uninfected disk – will solve most rootkit worries. Rootkits are nasty but they’re far from invincible.
Author Bio: Nick is a security consultant offering network security consultationt to big organization on a freelance basis. His vast experience in the IT Security area has inspired him to write this resourceful article. Link: http://www.pcrepairslondonw1.co.uk/