What is Rootkit Virus Attack and How to Prevent It?

Posted on the 15 June 2018 by David Dutton

A rootkit is a superior type of malware (malicious program). Rootkits are distinct because you don’t know what they will do or are already doing.

Rootkits are nearly unnoticeable, and they are nearly not possible to be removed. Even though detection tools are increasing, malware developers are continuously working on several ways to cover their tracks.

If infected by a rootkit, it’s very hard for even the most gifted security professionals to eliminate them, left with only option to re-install the OS to get things up and running.

Rootkits are not just challenging to expel, they are likewise extremely hard to spot, and require progressed malware identification technology to do such.

Rootkit anticipation—understanding rootkits, how they work, and what they’re proposed to do—is critical know why the rootkit is been installed. While not all rootkits are malevolent, most are, and it’s these malicious ones that we’ll center around in this post.

Design of rootkit and objective behind it.

What is Rootkit Virus Attack and How to Prevent it

Rootkits have been around since the 1990s, and they have kept on advancing in modernity and numbers. Today, they are promptly accessible on the black market accessible even to the beginner malware developers to significantly strengthening their malware.

The term rootkit starts from “root” in UNIX-based OS, which is the most authoritative admin account for a system. With root-level access, users can virtually accomplish anything on the system.

Despite the fact that the term was impelled in UNIX environment, it is now relevant to every single OS, including Windows and Mac OS X. The wide range of rootkits available for use today is Windows-based.

As a rule, other than modifying the OS, a rootkit does not do any damage on its own. Preferably, a rootkits primary capacity is to keep the malware that it’s connected to from being identified.

Rootkits are used mainly to:

Set up or improve stealth, making it extremely troublesome for security experts and most antimalware items to identify the malware the rootkit is intended to protect.

Cover other malware that cybercriminals may in this manner introduce as a significant aspect of a maintained attack.

Authorize drive, permitting the malware to survive reboots and every effort to eliminate them by Adware removal tool.

Enabling criminals to gain complete access, often via backdoors.

More or less, a rootkit is a toolbox used to include advantaged access, stealth, and industriousness to a noxious program. Rootkits are normally used to cover up malware like keyloggers, spyware, adware, information exfiltration, spam dissemination, or to give special access to unapproved people.

Different Types of Rootkits

Rootkits are accessible for each major working OS, including UNIX, Windows, Android, Mac OS X, and iOS. While most rootkits today target Microsoft Windows working OS, security admins need to steadily safeguard all system from these malicious toolkits.

Specialists frequently arrange rootkits by what part of the framework they occupy, for example, user space, such as the kernel, firmware, hypervisor and even the hardware. Most rootkits will target either the user or the kernel application space.

Kernel-mode rootkits – These rootkits live in kernel space, also called as “ring zero.” Kernel mode rootkits are more harmful than user mode rootkits because of the fact that they have the most highest-level benefits in the system.

Client mode rootkits – These are rootkits working in user space, otherwise called “ring 3.”

 How are Rootkits Installed

Attackers need boundless access, so one of their essential objectives is to pick up control over the process that executes with top-level admin rights. Since loadable kernel modules in Linux/UNIX systems and device drivers in Windows OS execute with the same benefits as of OS itself, it’s regular for rootkits to supplant these authentic modules and drivers with malicious forms. This class of rootkit delivers the attackers with unhindered benefits and access.

Insecure passwords on root or administrator accounts are often major causes for Rootkit infections. Rootkits generally bypass the system by using admin or root account rights to replace and upload important system files with modified versions.

Backdoor is then authorized, confirming that the attackers will have access even if the user changes the admin or root password. All trails of the evasion and system modifications are then removed, together with temporary caches, log file entries, name changes, and more.

Devices and machines are generally infected with rootkits employing drive-by downloads while perusing the web, or by tapping on malicious attachments or malevolent email links.

 How does Rootkits Hide?

Once installed, rootkits are nearly impossible to detect because they remove all evidence of their presence to most extent. The only noticeable effects generally are an unusually slow system and internet speed.

Regrettably, with today’s high bandwidth networks and high-speed CPU’s, users or admins may not even notice the network activity or additional CPU.

Rootkits enable stealth by deleting pieces that programs usually create when they’re installed, or when they execute. When a program like malware is installed, the monitoring tools can easily detect its existence by the presence of multiple check points, like:

  1. New files
  2. Background services or processes
  3. Modified or new registry keys
  4. system log entries
  5. Sudden changes in storage or disk utilization
  6. Changes to admin rights or new user accounts
  7. User processes or applications running with admin or root rights.

 How to prevent Rootkit?

Rootkits shows a very high risk to enterprises all across the world.

IT experts need to understand rootkit-related risks and implement effective defense tricks.

Likewise, with most things, the most ideal approach to counter rootkits is through anticipation as opposed to recognition and elimination.

An adequate prevention strategy includes pushing multiple systems in position to fight the threats, including appropriate strong authentication, system configuration, patch and configuration management, and the latest anti-rootkit tool or best anti adware. Because rootkits are specially designed to hide themselves and other malware, organizations should adapt extremely strong antimalware technologies.

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