A rootkit is a set of software tools injected by an intruder or a virus developer into a computer. It is supposed to give that person a way to access your device day and night and probably use it for their malicious purposes. That is, they collect information about your computers, as well as your account details.
How Does It Happen?
The truth is that rootkits and other malware can infect computers through several processes. Some of them include downloading programs, opening attached files in a SPAM mail, and even merely visiting specific online sites. These viruses can also be inserted in a matter of seconds as well by a knowledgeable stealer who can physically use your computer. After all, it is easy to install them from a USB drive or specialized disk.
What Can Rootkits Do?
Rootkits help unauthorized folks go back (for further computer access) into the system by installing a hidden “backdoor.” It can come in the form of a remote access daemon, an altered form of sshd or telnet. They set it up to work with other ports aside from just that single thing that the daemons are into. If it sounds foreign to you, you should know that a daemon is a program that runs discreetly in the background and cannot be controlled by the user.
Any rootkit that is designed to perfection has a distinctive ability to hiding or obliterating any evidence of its inclusion, presence, and actions. For instance, it can tweak the system’s logs to make any activity unrecorded and to erase all the things that can lead the user to realize that an unknown person has just logged into their device. It is even possible for them to get rid of the information that they have stolen. When you see that your log files were deleted, therefore, you should avoid thinking that that’s how computers usually work.
The worst thing that a rootkit can do is to replace some of the usual tools for the system. We are talking about ls, netstat, ps, jpasswd, find, w, and who, with altered versions of each. In some cases, the integrated ls that typically lists down the directories and files contained in any designated directors cannot show those files. The reason is that the rootkit developer has purposely hidden them from others, including you. Meanwhile, a custom-made version of ps protects the processes that the rootkits started when the authentic one is designed to take note of all the running processes in the computer.
Many rootkits and modified versions of them are already in a lot of operating systems. One may even be in the gadget that you are using right now to read this blog. There is no way of making sure that you are rootkit-free unless you scrutinize your device at a deeper level.
Still, a word of advice: Do not open emails from anyone whom you don’t know. Try to stick with high-authority websites as well to make sure that no virus can worm its way into your computer as well. Although such measures cannot shield you from rootkits, they can lower your chances of acquiring them.