Should I Scan For Rootkits

Rootkits refer to a stealthy yet menacing kind of malware that allows hackers to access your computers and devices even without you realizing it. If you are ever bogged down by a rootkit attack, you will realize why they are regarded as a severe cyber threat today. So, if you are wondering should I scan for rootkits, you have to delve deeper to understand how it works. Fortunately, this sparsely visible malware can be detected and removed from the device.

Should I Scan For Rootkits
Should I Scan For Rootkits | Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

What do you understand by a rootkit?

Initially, a rootkit referred to a collection of tools that allowed administrative access to stupid computer networks. But in recent years, it came to be linked with malicious software that offers elementary and privileged access to a device without revealing its existence. Rootkits are widely used by hackers for hiding themselves until they are ready to carry out malicious malware.

Moreover, rootkits can also deactivate antivirus and anti-malware software while damaging apps in user mode. A phisher may also utilize rootkits for spying on user behavior, launching attacks, enhancing privileges, and most importantly, looting sensitive information.

Why should I scan for rootkits?

Kernel rootkit or OS rootkits have been a threat for computer users. Although Microsoft brought about some major changes since 2006, the new-age rootkits are still capable of attacking Windows 10. The primary purpose of rootkits is to protect malicious working in disguise. It’s similar to the cloak of invisibility exploited by phishers for launching attacks.

It is an overwhelming task to detect these rootkits. But as a responsible user, you should keep an eye for any unusual happening in your computer network. If you are still contemplating, should I scan for rootkits, here’s why you should start it right away:

Sophisticated cybercrime calls for updated security

Many of us believe that our laptops or computers will never end up in the network of criminals since they are always after big things. But there are financial transactions taking place from your devices. Moreover, you are also accessing crucial data of your organization through your computer.

Cybercriminals can successfully attempt to hack your bank account or access your firm’s resources through your computer. Apart from these, you must have loaded your personal information on your computer which can become easily accessible to hackers without protection.

Vulnerability in computer programs leads to infection

Rootkits can be installed in several ways. But the most easily adopted infection vector is the vulnerability in your computer system. Any attacker would target both known as well as unknown vulnerabilities in apps and OS with exploit codes so that they are allowed access. Soon, they get a privileged position on their targeted device for installing the rootkit.

With that being done, cybercriminals can exercise remote access to that machine. They compromise a plausible webpage and host the exploit code for any particular vulnerability.

There is also another common infection vector- the USB drive. Attackers often leave USB drives loaded with rootkits in areas where they are likely to be picked up by the users. These include coffee shops, airports, conference halls, and commercial buildings.

In some cases, the rootkit installation may take place as an inevitable part of any legitimate application. That is why it is very important to scan for rootkits and ward off all sorts of vulnerabilities from the device.

Looking out for signatures

Running rootkit scans regularly is your best line of defense against malware attacks. The real challenge is that you cannot truly trust your operating system when there is a rootkit attack on your machine.

If you suspect that there is anything malicious happening in your machine, you should shut down your computer and carry on with the rootkit scan from a clean and certified system. It helps in detecting signatures which is quite similar to detecting viruses. A memory dump analysis is the sure means of finding signs of rootkit and mitigating them.

The Bottom Line

Rootkits as a means of cyber attack are on the verge of decline. This is because the innovations in OS technology have continued to improve over the last few years. As a result, the efforts of the phishers have been rendered ineffective. However, you should always ensure that you have high-end malware protection loaded on your device.

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