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What is a rootkit software?

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Quick Answer

A rootkit is a stealthy kind of software, generally malicious, designed to conceal the existence of certain programs or processes from normal detection methods and allow continued privileged access to a computer. Malware architects use rootkits to hide malware on a computer. Malware hidden by rootkits often screen, filter and steal data or abuse a computer���s resources, including using a PC for Bitcoin mining.

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Full Answer

A rootkit is a collection of tools that allows administrator-level access to a system or computer network. The word "rootkit" is a concatenation of ���root��� (the original name of the privileged account on Unix operating systems) and the term ���kit��� (which refers to the software aspects that implement the tool). The word ���rootkit��� has a negative connotation because of its relationship with malware. It consists of spyware and other programs that monitor traffic and keystrokes, creating a ���backdoor��� into the system for a hacker���s use.

Rootkit installation may either be automated, or an attacker may install it once he has acquired root or administrator access. Acquisition of this access is a product of direct attack on a system or a password through cracking or social engineering. Installation makes it possible to hide the intrusion and also maintain privileged access. Full control over a system implies that the current software can be changed, including software that may be used in detecting or circumventing it.

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