Rootkit defined The term Rootkit is a combination of two words: "root" and "kit." A rootkit allows malicious attackers to gain "root" or full administrator privileges on a computer in order to perform unauthorized actions. This exploit can result in software execution, changes in system configuration files, accessing of log files, monitoring of user keyboard input, browsing and other navigational activities. Rootkits were formerly described as a suite of tools that would grant users access with full administrator rights. These days, rootkits are categorized as a type of malware, just like worms, viruses or Trojan horses. Rootkits are related to other web threats including but not limited to:
- Mobile threats: Malware or viruses directed at mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
- Ransomware: Hijacking accounts with the aim of reaping financial rewards.
- Viruses: Malicious software that is typically executed by human actions such as clicking files.
- Spyware: Malicious software that monitors actions performed on a computer or network such as keyboard, browsing and navigational actions.
- Phishing: Tricking users into entering personal information, typically by creating a fake site that the user believes to be legitimate.