A particularly stealthy type software which is typically malicious; a rootkit is called so because it gives access to the “root” of the computer and therefore can be particularly dangerous as it gains admin access and therefore full control over your computer. It can modify software and therefore circumvent software designed to prevent infections and detection such as antivirus software. This also means that infection is particularly concerning as its use is more of an attack than an irritation and risk of danger to data and information is high.
Detection and removal is particularly difficult as a rootkit may well be able to subvert software designed to find and remove it.
Although a rootkit infection may occur through many sources, it is usually via vulnerabilities in software or social engineering. It is classic Trojan horse infection type.
Several providers offer rootkit detection products which can be downloaded for free. In no particular order they are
Even with these powerful tools however, a rootkit can be a tough challenge and sometimes a system reinstallation may be a more cost effective option.