Rootkit is a hardware tool or a contrivance which cannot be detected by any software or the computer. It basically peeps inside the computer and then stays inside it forever. It starts affecting the computer by getting over its operating machinery and starts amending the system. It is like an AIDS virus which when gets inside the body of a human, slowly takes control over the machinery and starts damaging the body. This is malicious software and performs tasks that produce damage to the computer operating system.
The owner of the computer never gets to know about such malicious software operating in his PC and therefore takes no action. It is when a big damage is produced; the owner realizes that his PC was infected with rootkit malwares. This software objects boot loader, BIOS, kernel and hypervisor. It can also affect libraries and other applications in the computer.
These are malwares which are used by hackers and other attackers for gaining access to the information stored inside the computers. It badly damages the operating system and security applications, so that it can enlarge its area and can produce more harm to the computer.
There are different types of rootkit software and all of them varies in their actions and affects. For combating the menace created by them, anti-rootkit software are designed and developed. These are like anti virus software which is developed to take over the OS of rootkit and slowly remove it from the system. It is impractical to even imagine removal of rootkit software directly. Its machinery is not like that of an anti virus. It is difficult to eradicate it out of the computer. Usually it is advised to reinstall windows if your system is malformed with a rootkit.
Anti-rootkit software can be installed for not permitting any more rootkit to enter in.
One major problem that arises while detecting a rootkit in the system is that it makes the operating system of the computer very weak. It is not advised to trust your system completely once it is infected by this kind of software. When anti-rootkit software scans the computer, most of the time it will show – no threat detected. This is because your actions on the system are already amended and now it is working as per rootkit instructions.
A number of programs have been developed to detect rootkit in the systems. Most of them are not 100% successful in doing so. Some of the famous softwares are mentioned here- rkhunter, OSSEC and chkrootkit. These are reportedly better than others in detecting rootkit. No matter how advanced software you are using, it will not be able to detect and delete rootkit from your system completely. However, reinstalling windows and saving data can provide much relief.