You’ve probably heard of the term “rootkit” before. A rootkit refers to software or programs that are bundled together for the purpose of accessing a device’s system (or parts of it) that are otherwise inaccessible for unauthorized users.
Rootkits allow users to gain administrative control of a device, allowing them to delete, obtain and modify its files, processes and system components. Because of this, most them are considered malicious and are typically used by cyber criminals to advance their interests.
What are rootkits capable of?
Below are some of the most well-known capabilities of today’s rootkits:
- They allow backdoor access to devices – Rootkits allow full access to a device even for unauthorized users. Once a rootkit is installed on a device, the crooks behind the attack will be able to steal and alter files and system folders on the device, among other malicious activities.
- They can operate stealthily – Similar to other types of malware, rootkits can mask their presence and even those of other software on a compromised device. Because of this, it is difficult to remove rootkits, and the only proven way of removal is by reformatting the compromised device. Even attacks that have been carried out can remain undiscoverable.
- They can be used to attack other devices – Rootkits can be programmed to be able to breach all other devices in the same network a compromised device is connected to.
- They can handle multiple processes – Rootkits today can multi-task; they can compromise devices by allowing backdoor access to hackers, stay hidden, and attack other devices, all at the same time. This can result in heavy usage of the device’s Internet connection, processing power and other resources.
Protect yourself using the best free download VPN
There are many possible attack vectors that hackers can use for rootkit distribution. The most effective way is by first breaching a device through other means, including the use of credentials obtained via phishing or password attacks, infecting a device with other malware such as Trojans, or exploiting vulnerabilities in a system, and then installing the rootkit.
Once compromised, the only way to effectively remove the rootkit from the device is by reformatting. To stay secure, you will need to protect yourself from the first wave of attacks that make installing rootkits on your device possible for hackers. One of the tools that you can use for this is Hotspot Shield VPN.
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Hotspot Shield is a free download VPN for Windows, Android, OS X, iOS, Chrome and Firefox that protects your device from malware infections by blocking malware-carrying sites and phishing sites. It does this using a database of malware sites that is regularly updated. When connected online via the VPN, you’ll be notified whenever you’re about to open an infected device, and then the site is blocked.
With this free download VPN, you won’t have to worry about malware attacks when browsing online. For more information about its features, please visit the Hotspot Shield VPN website.
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