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A bootkit is a type of rootkit that can access the master boot record. A rootkit is defined as a collection of software components that enables its user to access off-limits areas of a computer or device. As a rootkit capable of infesting a master boot record, the bootkit is able to achieve various malicious aims as a dangerous type of malware.
Since the master boot record operates first during startup, having access to it is valuable for a malware operator. In some senses, a bootkit can deflect the path of a boot or startup and alter computer operation in very specific ways. Bootkits can in some cases disable the types of software that are meant to control malware or hacking. It can alter the stacking of boot commands, and generally subvert the intended process for its own aims. Security experts consider bootkits to be an especially tricky type of rootkit malware, although some utilities exist that are able to deal with them.