There are many types of online threats that the average business owner needs to understand and be prepared for. The problem here is that no two threats are alike, and they all perform different functions. One thing that all threats have in common is that they want to disrupt your operations in any way possible. To help you better prepare your organization for these threats, we’ll discuss a particularly dangerous malware: the rootkit hack.
What is a Rootkit Hack?
A rootkit is a type of malware that’s intended to remain covert for an extended period of time. In a way, it acts like a trojan, remaining hidden from traditional security tools. It’s designed to snatch administrator privileges and access systems rather than delete data or mess with operations. Basically, you’re using a computer, but everything you’re doing is being intercepted and controlled by someone else.
Of course, not all rootkits are malicious by nature. Many organizations will equip their company-provided workstations with rootkits to allow for remote access and control. The problem stems from those that are used by malicious entities to steal credentials and sensitive information, and cause general chaos.
How it Works
Once a rootkit has administrator control, hackers can use it for pretty much anything that’s allowed by the system administrator. This could include tasks like installing new software, deleting or moving files, changing programs, installing spyware, recording keystrokes, and so much more. The possibilities are almost limitless. Hackers could steal sensitive credentials, log communications, transfer data, and modify your programs to suit their demands. Though rootkits are usually software-based, there are hardware-based rootkits that work in largely the same way.
Preventing Rootkit Infections
Just like most online threats, a rootkit will make its way into your system by way of an infected download, phishing scam, or other similar technology. This is why it’s so important to be mindful of what you’re downloading, and from where. Keep security best practices in mind whenever you use the Internet. Doing so may save you from the misfortune of dealing with dangerous and risky threats. Additionally, you should be using an enterprise-level firewall and antivirus solution, backed up by web content filtering and spam blocking. Plus, making sure that all of your operating systems and critical software solutions are up to date and secure can go a long way.
What You Can Do
As per usual, you can know that something’s wrong with your computer if it’s behaving abnormally. If you suspect that a rootkit has been installed on your workstation, you should immediately cut it off from Internet access to prevent remote control and data leakage. Even under the best circumstances, though, rootkit software intentionally hides itself from your system’s software, making it difficult to locate and eliminate. From here, it’s best to contact a professional who is skilled at removing nasty malware and viruses from computers.
If you’re having trouble identifying threats and protecting your business’s infrastructure from malicious online entities, you need to contact White Mountain IT Services. Our trusted IT professionals can help your team fully understand how hacks happen, and what you can do to stop them in the future. To learn more, give us a call at 603-889-0800.