Rootkit Removal Tool

What Does Rootkit Removal Tool Mean?

A rootkit removal tool is a tool used to remove a type of malware that’s harder to get rid of than standard viruses. Rootkits are simply tools that bypass regular OS protocols by installing hidden files and processes, creating hidden user accounts, and establishing other malicious activities in the system OS. Removing a rootkit manually can be quite difficult to do for a typical user as there may be multiple steps involved and some tweaking of various system files. Rootkits can even reappear if not completely removed from all locations.


Techopedia Explains Rootkit Removal Tool

Many software vendors who specialize in security applications already offer these kinds of removal tools, which are often included in a special anti-virus suite or as separate installable applications. The tool automatically detects the rootkit inside a user’s system and then proceeds in removing it. Some anti-malware software avoids file system APIs because rootkits have the ability to manipulate them and make themselves invisible. Instead, these scanners check the raw file system structures and validate these against the system’s API to spot changes that may have been caused by rootkits.

One of the stronger rootkit removal tools is the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, which accesses raw file systems and validates the information inside to identify certain differences that could be attributed to a rootkit. Other examples of rootkit removal tools include Bitdefender’s Rootkit Remover and Kaspersky’s TDSSKiller.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.