Thursday, June 16, 2005

Rootkits; another day, another security threat

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A rootkit is a piece of software used to gain privileged access to a system for the purpose of camouflaging malicious code such as viruses, Trojans and spyware, allowing them to wreak havoc upon the host system undetected.

Once a hacker gains a foothold in this way, it is perfectly feasible for them to steal your login details, log key strokes, monitor traffic, open the floodgates to further attack from internet miscreants and so on.

It's not my intention to alarm you, but this is ...erm, bad. Luckily it's also avoidable. Rootkits are specifically designed to operate without arousing the suspicion of your anti-virus and anti-Trojan scanner, which is why to you will require a special kind of detection tool to stop them in their tracks. F-Secure have developed such a tool - it's called BlackLight and the beta version is available to try free of charge until 1st July.

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