A rootkit is a set of software tools intended to conceal running processes, files or system data from the operating system. Rootkits have their origin in relatively benign applications, but in recent years have been used increasingly by malware to help intruders maintain access to systems while avoiding detection. Rootkits exist for a variety of operating systems, such as Linux, Solaris and versions of Microsoft Windows. Rootkits often modify parts of the operating system or install themselves as drivers or kernel modules.
The word "rootkit" came to general public awareness in the 2005 Sony BMG CD copy protection scandal, in which Sony BMG music CDs surreptitiously placed a rootkit on Microsoft Windows PCs when the CD was played on the computer. Sony provided no mention of this on the CD or its packaging, referring only to security rights management measures.
The major problem with rootkits is that most users think that their virus scanner protects them from rootkits as well which is most of the time not the case. Rootkits are much harder to detect by normal means and software that can scan systems for rootkits should be used by inexperienced users to be able to detect at least the most common ones.
What a Rootkit can do?
A rootkit can take full control of your system. A rootkit's only purpose is to hide files, network connections, memory addresses, or registry entries from other programs used by system administrators to detect intended/ unintended special privilege accesses to the computer resources. However, a rootkit may be incorporated with other files which have other purposes. It is important to note that the utilities bundled with the rootkit may be malicious in intent, but a rootkit is essentially a technology; it may be used for both productive and destructive purposes.
How to get rid of Rootkits in your computer?
AVG Anti-Rootkit is a FREE powerful tool with state-of-the-art technology for detection and removal of rootkits. AVG Anti-Rootkit gives you the power to find and delete the rootkit and to uncover the threat the rootkit is hiding. The anti rootkit application can be used to either quickly scan the computer for possible rootkits and the other to make an in depth scan which takes longer but is more thorough. The in depth scan for Rootkits takes some time depending on the amount of files and size of your hard drives. Since it is offered free, No support is provided for AVG Anti-Rootkit by Grisoft.