Online attacks can be an unnerving experience. Perhaps, you would not want to use your computers to store your data at all if something like that happens. In fact, not only your computer, you would not want to use any devices at all. However, it’s the 21st century, and there is no way we can stay away from gadgets, right? There is numerous software that helps protect your system of all kinds of attacks or suspicious activities. There are several anti-rootkit software that protects from rootkits. But, let’s focus more on what exactly is computer rootkit and more about it here.
What is a rootkit and how does it work?
A rootkit is a malicious software which affects your computer without your knowledge. It is often in disguise, which is why it is hard to identify when it attacks the system. The hacker can install this software automatically through various means in your system. Once it is installed, the hacker has complete access to your files, passwords and even your online activities. It is difficult to recognize and worst, you would not know if your system is attacked. computer rootkits can be extremely harmful, and the only way to remove it from your device would be to install your operating system again.
An attacker may trick the user using social engineering and install the rootkit in his system. That is a direct way to attack the system. They will be extremely skilled at luring the user by telling how useful will rootkit be if installed in their system. Once it is installed, it affects the core of your operating system, changes configurations, hides the system files, modifies kernel modules and drivers and also disables the event logging in your device. All of these would be happening, and you would not have a clue about the activities at all. Computer rootkits are harmful in an unimaginable way.
What is a rootkit attack?
A computer rootkit attack is when the rootkit enters your computer and steals all your sensitive data. Your files, your activities are all monitored by the attacker. The attack is of two variants: user-mode rootkit and kernel-mode rootkit. The user-mode attack takes place majorly, and the attacker takes over the application processes running on your system. Whereas the kernel-mode rootkit reaches the core of your operating system where the hacker can completely access your activities and data.
As hard as it is for a hacker to attack the kernel, it is equally difficult to remove the rootkit. Therefore, the user-mode is common. Other types of rootkits are bootkits, rootkit that aims at the BIOS process. Before the operating system start. Mobile kits where it attacks your smartphone as everyday people use their mobile phones. It is one of the common methods too. The attacker can steal your bank details, passwords, documents by using numerous tools.
Why would a rootkit be used by a hacker?
Hackers’ intentions are always to get all the details from the users’ system. But, many of them get caught while doing so. One of the main advantages of using rootkits is that it is difficult to trace the identity of the hacker. The hacker can effortlessly steal all the information and leave through the backdoor without other’s getting a clue about it. The computer rootkit destroys the anti-malware software in the system and gains access to the device. That is the sole reason why hackers use the rootkit method to get into the system.
How does the rootkit hide itself?
Rootkit’s main aim is to not leave traces and leave all the evidence when the information is collected. They erase all their activities by setting the stealth mode. When there are alterations in activities such as new keys or files, new accounts or applications, services or processes, sudden changes in the system disk and many such changes, it indicates the system and the anti-virus software detects them and lets the computer know about changes so that the user can get it repaired.
Since they hide and modify the entire system components. Rootkit can perform the same activities as that of an anti-malware. By this the user doesn’t get to know the real happening behind the system. If you find your system getting slow by the day. It can be also wise to scan the system for rootkit. It might means there has been an attack and you need to fix it soon.
What is the most dangerous type of rootkit?
The most dangerous type of computer rootkit is the kernel-mode rootkit, which affects the kernel of the operating system. Once the attack is made to the core, then it is difficult to detect and also to remove. Now when the kernel is attacked, the attacker gets the same rights as that of an operating system. So, for obvious reasons, if your operating system is working fine how will you get to know if it is attacked right? So, that is the reason why kernel detection and also attack is hard and dangerous both. Even a person who is extremely skilled at these finds it difficult to remove the malware. Kernel-mode harms the operating system, changes system configurations and settings and alters everything.
Computer rootkit conclusion:
computer rootkits as you have seen is one of the most dangerous malware. The software is designed in such a way that the user finds it hard to recognize if his system is attacked by the rootkit. They are a powerful tool for hackers as it does not leave any traces of the activities. Computers have to be monitored regularly for suspicious activities even though it is challenging to detect in case of a rootkit attack. Hackers gain complete access to the activities through different modes of attack the most common being the user-mode.
The kernel-mode though is difficult, hackers do attack through that and gain all the access to the operating system. computer rootkits may not harm the computer but the hackers will steal the entire important documents once they attack. The best method to prevent such attacks is to install an anti-rootkit software in the system and get the computer scanned regularly. Your system will then remain safe and away from any such attacks.