Root Kit


Root Kit - What Is It?



Article by Marc Liron - Microsoft MVP (Windows Desktop Experience)


What On Earth Is A Root Kit...?

Root kits have been around a long time, yet most computer users have never heard of them.

The Sony came along and started using the technology to prevent copying of it's music CD's and suddenly the whole world new about the root kit...





I think Sony did the average user a favour when their failed attempt at restricting customers attempts to copy their music CD's. Their PR disaster suddenly made most computer users aware of the existence of root kits!

Read the full story here.

A basic definition of a root kit is:

"A set of software tools frequently used by a third party (usually an intruder) after gaining access to a computer system. These tools are intended to conceal running processes, files or system data, which helps an intruder maintain access to a system without the user's knowledge. Root kits are known to exist for a variety of operating systems such as Linux, Solaris and versions of Microsoft Windows."

So they are NOT something you really want on your system!

Virus and malware writers are now creating Root Kits to attack your computers in an attempt to steal passwords and valuable data etc..


How Can I Detect A Root Kit On My Computer?

Mark Russinovich, the guy who discovered the Sony Root Kit has some software you can use in many circumstances to discover root kits on your windows computer - however it is not for the beginner!

Root Kit Revealer Homepage:

For the less technical user there is also an excellent, and again free, from Sophos:

Sophos Anti-Rootkit

Do Microsoft Have A Root Kit Detection Product?

Microsoft have a page here on their research website about root kit detection: 

However, I would only recommend it for the technical user!

Sophos Anti-Rootkit

Fig 1.0 - The Sophos Anti-Rootkit



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Kind Regards

Marc Liron

Marc Liron - Microsoft MVP (2004 - 2010)

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