What is a rootkit and how can you avoid it?

You may have heard terminology such as “virus,” “phishing,” and “malware” used to describe prevalent internet risks. However, if you used the term “rootkit,” most people would associate it with flower fertilizer. However, rootkits are one of the most perilous techniques that hackers employ to manage your device.

This post will provide a quick overview of rootkits and the precautions you should take to prevent this security risk.

What is a rootkit?

Rootkits are a kind of malicious software designed to be installed on your system. Without your awareness, they stay concealed in your device. A rootkit allows someone to gain and maintain malevolent or lawful operational control over a machine.

This suggests that the rootkit owner can execute data and modify system settings on a targeted device. Additionally, the rootkit owner may track your activity and access your log files.

Rootkits are difficult to detect because they use sophisticated techniques to escape detection. It may be concealed at the level of the operating system that controls the whole system or disguised as another piece of software.

They also capture detection applications since these applications are unable to recognize rootkits.

  • Rootkits may intercept your device’s communications.
  • They may raise the operating system’s performance beyond its limits.
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) is susceptible to rootkits as well.
  • This is not a trivial danger. They can hand over control of your gadget to a remote hacker.

What can hackers do with a rootkit?

  • Hackers might install harmful software or Trojans on your device, and without sufficient understanding of the tools used for dangerous software, you cannot recognize this software.
  • Your gadget will be made accessible to hackers.
  • It may serve as an entry point for an attacker to gain access to your sensitive data and accounts.
  • If the rootkit obtained total control of your operating system, it would also jeopardize your mobile phone.
  • It may compromise anti-malware software and propagate malware on your machine.

What forms of rootkit exist?


They may corrupt the hard drive’s boot sector. They are activated before the commencement of any antivirus or operating system.

Kernel-mode rootkit

It is among the most difficult to detect. Hackers install code into the core of your operating system. The kernel tier is comparable to the command center of your computer, so this rootkit will take control of the entire device.

Firmware rootkit

They will have access to firmware code that controls certain devices, such as PC peripherals, routers, and so on. Firmware is attached to your computer and may act as an operating system for some of the devices. As a result, hackers might maintain complete control of certain devices.

User-mode rootkit

This operates at the application level of your computer, manipulating applications, hijacking processes, and putting your data at risk. This kind of rootkit is easily detectable due to its software-level operation.

Rootkit hypervisor 

These rootkits may manipulate the OS in a virtual machine and intercept your operating system’s hardware. This allows them to seize control of your device.

How does a rootkit impact your device?

Listed below are a few of the ways in which Rootkit might impact your system:

  • It may hitch a ride on the reputable applications you’ve installed. Frequently, it is introduced via third-party websites.
  • By getting or removing your access credentials using social engineering;
  • Perhaps you obtained it from a malicious or suspicious source.

How to defend against rootkits

Do not open suspicious-looking emails.

According to statistics, 92 percent of dangerous software, such as rootkits, is distributed over email. This indicates that the likelihood of being infected with a rootkit through email is high. Using various tactics, hackers get access to thousands of email addresses of users.

After gathering the emails, the spammers send unsolicited messages to all users. When a person opens an email, the rootkit is instantly downloaded to their device and begins installation without their knowledge.

To prevent rootkits from infecting your device, refrain from opening dangerous emails, especially those from unknown senders.

Avoid downloading pirated software.

A website may provide free cracked software downloads, but they are often exploited by attackers to install rootkits on the user’s device. Cracked software is often bundled with adware that generates persistent and annoying pop-ups.

Always install authorized software to prevent rootkits and other kinds of malware.

Install the updated software.

Unavoidable system vulnerabilities allow for the installation of rootkits on your device. Developers can only find a vulnerability after the code has been deployed, and if there is a vulnerability in the code, the only option is to install updates.

The majority of people never care about updates. However, by installing software updates, you may strengthen your computer’s security and prevent viruses and rootkits from infiltrating your system.

When new software updates become available, install them without delay.

Antimalware applications with rootkit detection.

Anti-malware software may prevent malware assaults. You need the most recent software with advanced anti-malware algorithms to combat malware. Typically, antimalware technology implemented as a result of the Host Intrusion Prevention Program is intended to monitor computer memory.

This prevents harmful software from being downloaded to the operating system, hence preventing antimalware rootkits from being installed.

NordVPN is the ideal option if you are seeking a safe VPN service to protect yourself from internet hackers and threats. It conceals your IP address and routes your traffic over a highly secure tunnel. Nobody can see your internet search history or browsing history.

Through NordVPN, you may also access restricted websites with only a few clicks. It is accessible to both desktop and mobile users. You may get it by visiting the official website of NordVPN or by visiting the Google Play store.

Found this useful? Share with